COUNCIL CALL FOR MORE BUSINESSES TO OFFER LONDON LIVING WAGE
A south London Council is leading the charge locally to promote the London Living Wage as part of National Living Wage Week 2016 (30 October to 5 November).
Southwark council have paid all of its employees, including contractors, the London Living Wage since 2012 and pro-actively supporting local businesses, both large and small, to follow its example.
Earlier this year the council brought together key voices in the Living Wage debate in London for a Living Wage symposium at the House of Commons. Over 50 people attended from employers, business groups, local government, trade unions, community groups, charities and think tanks to debate some of the key issues around the Living Wage and to identify tangible steps to help different organisations implement a London Living Wage policy.
The reports found that:
There are genuine benefits for employers who pay a real living wage, including improved quality of work from employees, positive customer perceptions, lower absenteeism and a better quality of candidates for jobs;
Because of the perceived benefits, businesses have moved on from simply seeing cost as a barrier, and are now actively looking for ways to pay a living wage;
In London, businesses recognise that if they don’t pay a living wage, there will be a dwindling pool of employees who can afford to live in the capital;
A living wage may not improve lives on its own – changes to housing and benefits policy need to go hand in hand with a fair wage if lives are to improve
Councils can encourage businesses by celebrating good practice, and promoting the benefits of a real living wage
Southwark’s cabinet member for business, employment and culture Cllr Johnson Situ said: “The benefits that can come from simply offering a fair day’s pay for a fair day’s work are there to see for companies that offer London Living Wage including more committed and motivated staff and a higher quality of work.”
Responding to the announcement that the London Living Wage will increase, Labour’s London Assembly economy spokeswoman Fiona Twycross AM said:
“Mayor Khan made a manifesto pledge to see the London Living Wage rise to £10 per hour in his mayoralty. “This is a very welcome step towards that goal.
“In the face of rising inflation and economic uncertainty following Brexit, this move should spread the safety net for vulnerable Londoners.
“All Londoners deserve a decent standard of living, and businesses in turn reap the rewards with improvements in quality of work from a more motivated workforce.
“But we need more low paid workers to have their wages linked to the London Living Wage so it’s now over to businesses to recognise that paying properly pays off and to adopt the new uprated London Living Wage for their organisation.”
The London Living Wage has increased from £9.40 to £9.75.
Fiona Twycross AM is a Londonwide Assembly Member (Source: GLA Labour party press release)