Restaurant worker

Action needed to help London’s low paid post-Brexit

16 February 2017
  • London’s economy is changing, with a rise in self-employment, partly driven by a growing gig economy.
  • 18 percent of all workers in London are self-employed – that’s the highest rate in the UK.
  • Two thirds of self-employed Londoners earn less than the equivalent of a full-time employee on the London Living Wage (currently £9.75 per hour).[2]
  • EU employment law sets a minimum standard for workers’ rights, but post-Brexit UK workers’ rights could start to fall below the standard set.
  • Better paid jobs and more flexible working options will be key to tackling low pay and unlocking the potential of London’s labour market.

The London Assembly Economy Committee publishes ‘EU exit: workers’ rights and the London labour market’ today. The short report sets out robust and radical approaches to support low paid workers in a post-Brexit London:

  • The Mayor should accelerate work on take-up of the London Living Wage, to help reduce the proportion of Londoners facing in-work poverty.
  • Given the uncertainty for workers’ rights, any new regulations should promote an inclusive, fair and flexible working environment.
  • The Mayor and London boroughs need to radically think about tackling low pay by raising minimum wage standards and ensuring better enforcement.
  • The Mayor should lobby the Government for a minimum wage that truly reflects the cost of living and working in the capital.

Fiona Twycross AM, Chair of the Economy Committee, said: 

“Employment rights face a number of uncertainties and a lot of workers in London are already getting a raw deal when it comes to wages, housing and the cost of living.

Post-Brexit, these uncertainties and issues will not disappear and unless we act radically to improve people’s livelihoods, the situation will get worse.

More devolution can bring opportunities to shape London’s labour market for the better.

The Mayor has been a strong advocate for London with the Government since the referendum and we urge him to continue to make the best use of opportunities to improve the livelihoods of working Londoners in these uncertain times, particularly around tackling low pay.”

Follow us @LondonAssembly and take part in the discussion using #AssemblyEconomy and #EUExit

Notes to editors

  1. ‘EU exit: workers’ rights and the London labour market’ report available to download below.
  2. Tough Gig – Low paid self-employment in London and the UK, Trust for London
  3. Fiona Twycross AM, Chair of the London Assembly Economy Committee, is available for interview. Please see contact details below.
  4. As well as investigating issues that matter to Londoners, the London Assembly acts as a check and a balance on the Mayor.

For media enquiries, please contact Lisa Lam on 020 7983 4067.  For out of hours media enquiries, call 020 7983 4000 and ask for the London Assembly duty press officerNon-media enquiries should be directed to the Public Liaison Unit on 020 7983 4100.