Mayor calls on Premier League clubs to pay the London Living Wage

17 January 2017

Sadiq Khan has called on the capital’s Premier League football clubs to join him in working to make London a Living Wage City.

The Mayor of London has written to the chairmen and owners of Arsenal, Tottenham Hotspur, West Ham and Crystal Palace, urging them to set an example for other businesses across the capital by paying their staff the London Living Wage.

Only Chelsea – who signed up in 2014 – pay their employees the London Living Wage and Sadiq is calling on other London-based Premier League clubs to join the Blues and the other 1,076 businesses that are accredited. This figure is up from 724 the previous year and compares with just 27 employers who publicly backed the Living Wage in 2008.

The Mayor announced in October last year an increase in the London Living Wage from £9.40 to £9.75. He believes the Living Wage can be a ‘win-win’ for business as it can help recruitment, retention and productivity of staff, and makes good commercial sense.

More than 60,000 workers in the city now benefit from the increased wage and while the capital accounts for more than a third of businesses paying the Living Wage in the UK, Sadiq believes London’s Premier League clubs can help it go further and set an example for other employers to follow.

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: “London is the best city in the world, but it can’t be right that so many hard-working Londoners are struggling to make ends meet and keep up with the high cost of living.

“As the Mayor for all Londoners, I am determined we create a city of opportunity for everyone, and the London Living Wage is a crucial part of challenging low pay in the capital.

“My vision is to make London a Living Wage City and that is why I am calling on our great city’s Premier League clubs to join me in making that a reality. The likes of Arsenal, Spurs, West Ham and Crystal Palace are not only top football clubs, but leading employers in London. I’m calling on them to sign up and pay their staff the increased rate. It’s a ‘win-win’ situation: they can improve staff recruitment, retention and productivity, while helping me promote the London Living Wage across the city.”

Katherine Chapman, Director at the Living Wage Foundation, said:‎ “We would love to see more premier league football clubs join Chelsea and Everton in paying a real Living Wage. There are almost 3,000 employers signed up across the UK who pay the real Living Wage  - a third of these in London - because they want to reward a fair days’ work with a fair day’s pay. Living Wage employers’ report better recruitment, retention and productivity - so not only is it good for families, it’s good for business and good for London”

After discovering subcontractors hired under the former Mayor were paid less than the London Living Wage, Sadiq took action to ensure all staff and subcontractors working within the Greater London Authority and its functional bodies, are paid the increased capital rate of £9.75 an hour.

More than 300 additional employers signed up to pay their staff the capital’s hourly rate over the last 12 months.

Since 2011 the London Living Wage has increased by 17.5 per cent and over the last year major brands including the British Library, IKEA, Majestic Wine, Lloyds TSB and London’s Borough Market have all become accredited as London Living Wage employers.

The London Living Wage is calculated according to an independently assessed measure of the cost of an acceptable standard in living in the city.