Give cleaners the London Living Wage

01 July 2015

The London Assembly today urged the Mayor to focus his attention on getting more employers in London’s low pay sectors, like the cleaning sector to pay the London Living Wage and become accredited Living Wage employers. In London, 917,000 jobs now pay less than the London Living Wage. The London Assembly supports the Mayor’s vision for the London Living Wage to be the norm by 2020. Fiona Twycross AM, who proposed the motion said: “It shouldn’t be controversial to say that people who work in our city should be paid enough to live here. “We need the Mayor to take this issue seriously if he is to come anywhere near his aim of making London Living Wage the norm by 2020. As it stands real wages are falling and a greater proportion of jobs are paying less than the London Living Wage, the Mayor must act immediately if he’s to have any hope of reversing this trend before he leaves office. “With time running out it’s not just his reputation on the line, it’s the livelihood of millions of Londoners on low wages.” The full text of the motion is: "Following International Justice Day for Cleaners (15 June 2015), this Assembly would like to put on record its support for employees in this sector. Across Greater London, 85 per cent of cleaning jobs are low paid.[2] The cleaning sector is indicative of a wider lack of progress in increasing the number of jobs paying the London Living Wage in London’s low-pay sectors since 2008. In June 2009, the Mayor addressed the British Hospitality Association annual lunch, during which he encouraged the sector to adopt the London Living Wage. Since then, no London-based employers in this sector have become accredited. This Assembly is deeply concerned by the growth of low pay in Greater London. Real wages are now £2,097 a year lower than they were in 2008[3], while the proportion of jobs paying less than the London Living Wage has increased from 13.2 per cent to 19.4 per cent since the Mayor took office, dragging an additional 348,000 workers further into poverty pay.[4] In London, 917,000 jobs now pay less than the London Living Wage.[5] This Assembly supports the Mayor’s vision for the London Living Wage to be the norm by 2020; but we recognise that the city is moving further away from achieving this objective. In his final year in office, we call on the Mayor to refocus his attentions on reversing this trend. We particularly call on him to focus on London’s low pay sectors and to increase the Greater London Authority resources available for engaging with employers in these sectors.[6]” Notes to editors:

The motion was agreed unanimously at a meeting of the full Assembly today.

Fair pay: Making the London Living Wage the norm, London Assembly Economy Committee, February 2014, p.8

Written question No: 2015/0380, January 2015

Written question No: 2014/5918, December 2014

Written question No: 2014/5918, December 2014

Fair pay: Making the London Living Wage the norm, London Assembly Economy Committee, February 2014, p.8

Fiona Twycross AM who proposed the motion is available for interviews. Please see contact details below.

The webcast is available here.

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 officer. Non-media enquiries should be directed to the Public Liaison Unit on 020 7983 4100.