CROYDON COUNCIL OFFICIALLY DECLARED A LONDON LIVING WAGE EMPLOYER
Croydon council has been accredited as a London Living Wage employer.
The council’s administration made it one of its key election pledges in 2014 to introduce the London Living Wage across the council.
As Croydon’s largest employer, the council now wants to encourage other organisations in the borough to follow its lead and do the same.
This means that every council employee will be paid a minimum rate of £9.15 per hour. This is £2.65 per hour more than the National Minimum Wage. It is calculated as the amount people need to cover the basic costs of living.
The council has also made it a requirement for its contractors to pay staff the London Living Wage, which is now built into all new tenders.
It will be working with existing contractors to move over to London Living Wage in the next two years.
Council leader Cllr Tony Newman said: “This was a clear political commitment by our administration, a process we started at one of the first cabinets we held, and it’s fantastic that we have now had confirmation of this
“However this is very much the beginning, as it is our ambition to see the London Living Wage rolled out across every company and organisation in our borough, as we have already seen with employers such as IKEA and Lidl.
“This council will lead by example, and we hope other employers follow us.”
Living Wage Foundation director Rhys Moore said: “The Living Wage is a robust calculation that reflects the real cost of living, rewarding a hard day’s work with a fair day’s pay.
“We have accredited over 1,700 leading employers, including Croydon council, ranging from independent printers, hairdressers and breweries, to well-known companies such as Nationwide, Aviva and SSE.
“These businesses recognise that clinging to the national minimum wage is not good for business. “Customers expect better than that.” (Source: Croydon council press release)
The Mayor of London has been criticised for his “lacklustre” efforts after it was revealed that a recent letter-writing campaign to get businesses to pledge to pay the London Living Wage has resulted in only three businesses signing up.
According to information released to Labour’s London Assembly economic spokeswoman Fiona Twycross AM, the Mayor wrote to 51 London businesses between March and June this year encouraging them to pay the London Living Wage, little more than a third of which responded, and only three of those who replied have subsequently signed up to the scheme.
According to the Mayor’s Office, of the 51, 19 have replied with 10 indicating they will ‘investigate’ becoming accredited and only three going on to sign up to pay the London Living Wage.
Dr Twycross said the Mayor’s failure highlighted the “wide chasm between what the Mayor says is happening to Londoners’ pay packets and the reality of ever increasing poverty pay in the capital.”
The criticism of the Mayor’s “lacklustre” efforts to persuade employers to pay the London Living Wage comes after it was revealed that 917,000 Londoners currently earn below the London Living Wage.
Dr Twycross said: “The Mayor talks up his achievements on the London Living Wage, but the reality is that every year since 2010 more people have been dragged into low paid work partly as a result of Boris Johnson’s failure to get businesses signed up to pay proper wages.
“There is no escaping the fact that as both a proportion of the workforce and in overall numbers, the amount of people paid less than the living wage has massively increased during Boris Johnson’s time as Mayor.
“The city Boris leaves behind in May will be more polarised and poorer than the one he inherited – that is a record nobody should be proud of.” (Source: GLA Labour party press release).