Mayor increases London Living Wage as four international employers sign up

9 June 2010

The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, today announced that he is increasing the London Living Wage to £7.85 per hour, a rise of 25p.  In addition, this year, four major employers have signed up to pay the London Living Wage.  They are Deloitte, Nomura, Prudential and Standard Chartered. The rise to £7.85 per hour represents an increase of 3.3 % per cent on last year’s figure, and an overall increase of 17 % per cent since the London Living Wage was introduced in 2005 at £6.70 per hour.  

The GLA today also published the Living Wage Unit’s Sixth Annual Report ‘A Fairer London: The 2010 Living Wage in London’.  The report identifies what a Living Wage in London should be as the cost of living in the capital is higher than the rest of the UK.  

In London, an hourly wage rate of 17 per cent above the National Minimum Wage (NMW) rate of £5.80 is needed to provide a reliable margin so that the wage-earner will not fall into poverty.  Someone paid less than about £6.80 an hour in the capital will be living in poverty, even after benefits and tax credits are taken into account. The London Living Wage has outstripped the NMW since its introduction in 2005, and has more than kept pace with average earnings and prices.  Paying the London Living Wage helps to make sure that the unemployed in London are better off in work than living on benefits.

Nearly 100 organisations across London, including leading private sector employers like Barclays Bank, KPMG, HSBC and Pricewaterhouse Coopers (PWc) as well as London boroughs such as LB Ealing and LB Tower Hamlets have implemented the London Living Wage over the last five years.  This year LB Lewisham has also signed up to pay the London Living Wage.

The Mayor has written to major employers across the capital outlining the business case and social benefits of implementing the London Living Wage and urging them to pay this figure.

Announcing the new London Living Wage at City Hall today, Boris Johnson said:

‘I am determined to ensure that London remains an international, diverse, competitive and socially cohesive city. The capital relies on the work of many who carry out the city’s essential functions on a daily basis – from office cleaners to care-workers in social services. It is right that their skills and commitment to London’s success are recognised, and one of the most fundamental ways of doing this is to ensure that all Londoners are paid properly.  That means receiving at least the London Living Wage, which is designed to combat poverty and also ensure that people are better off in work than out of work.

‘The success of the London Living Wage depends on the extent of its acceptance by employers.   There are huge benefits to employers and society of implementing the London Living Wage and today I urge all employers in the capital to follow the GLA’s lead and pay a fairer wage.’

Reverend Paul Regan, Trustee of London Citizens, said: 

‘In these tough economic times, the Living Wage is even more important to keep hardworking Londoners out of poverty. The fact we have more and more companies becoming Living Wage Employers goes to show that the Living Wage is becoming the real minimum for London’s responsible businesses. London Citizens welcomes the new figure of £7.85 per hour and congratulates the Mayor once again for his leadership on the Living Wage, our number one priority campaign’.

SERTUC Regional Secretary, Megan Dobney, said:

‘With more and more employers signing up, the London Living Wage is undoubtedly a success and sets a decent standard of minimum pay for Londoners.

‘It makes sense that both private and public sector employers across the Capital are seeing the Living Wage as a way to treat their staff well. There is no place for poverty wages in London.’

ENDS

Notes to Editors

1.    The London Living Wage is the hourly rate of pay that GLA Economics calculate each year, taking into account the higher cost of living in the capital and the rate of inflation, which is needed to be paid to someone to allow them an acceptable standard of living above the poverty threshold. It is defined by GLA Economics as “a wage that achieves an adequate level of warmth and shelter, a healthy palatable diet, social integration and avoidance of chronic stress for earners and their dependents.”

2.    The report can be found on the GLA Economics web pages at: http://www.london.gov.uk/who-runs-london/mayor/publications/business-and...

3.    The London Living Wage is a key theme of the Mayor's Responsible Procurement Policy.  For further details go to: www.london.gov.uk/rp

4.    All GLA group staff are paid at or above the London Living Wage.  The GLA and all organisations within the group (London Development Agency, Transport for London, London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority, Metropolitan Police Authority and the Metropolitan Police Service) have confirmed that all their direct employees are now paid at or above the 2009 Living Wage of £7.60 per hour and the Mayor expects them to ensure all staff are paid at least £7.85 per hour as soon as possible. Over 2,200 GLA group staff have already benefited from implementation of the London Living Wage since 2005. 

5.    For further details on London’s Poverty Profile go to www.londonspovertyprofile.org.uk