MQT on 2016-10-19
Session date: 
October 19, 2016
Question By: 
Fiona Twycross
Labour Group
Asked Of: 
The Mayor


What action can be taken to prevent low pay in self-employment in London?


Answer for Self-employment

Answer for Self-employment

Answered By: 
The Mayor

Sadiq Khan (Mayor of London):  Can I thank Assembly Member Twycross for her question?  I understand there are a number of cases of low‑paying self‑employment coming under scrutiny at the moment within the on‑demand or “gig” economy.  A lack of workers’ rights, no sick pay and no leave can see some workers earning less than the London Living Wage and even the National Minimum Wage in some cases.  This is not acceptable.


That is why in my manifesto I committed to setting up an Economic Fairness Team that will promote the Living Wage across London and help drive up workplace standards and promote exemplary standards in pay and employment rights.  My officials are currently working on setting up this team to take forward this crucial area of work.  I want to work with employers across London to drive up standards and root out bad practice.


In addition to this, where I have powers, it is my important duty to promote economic development for London and the people who work and live within our great city.  This includes the many thousands of self‑employed people who make up London’s workforce.  I will promote economic development in a number of ways.  The London Finance Commission is preparing the case for more autonomy for the capital to strengthen its fiscal powers and delivery of high‑quality public services.  Devolution of these fiscal and other powers to the capital, including over skills, will help to protect London’s economy from the uncertainty ahead.  I will set up Skills for Londoners to ensure that all Londoners have the opportunity to train in the skills that our economy needs, whether as employees or as self‑employed.


I will call upon my new business advisory board and the new London LEP to help dismantle the barriers to growth that exist and to increase productivity in large firms, small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and within the self-employed community.  In light of the EU referendum result, I will call on the Government to ensure that London gets the best possible deal for our economy in the forthcoming Brexit negotiations.


Finally, I would also encourage all employers in London to pay the London Living Wage to their employees.  I am providing Londoners with cheaper transport fares to enable them to move around the city and access the jobs they need.


Fiona Twycross AM:  Thank you.  You have answered most of my follow‑up questions, but I did want to do a shameless plug for an excellent new report published by the Social Market Foundation this week on the issue of low pay in self‑employment, focusing particularly on London and the UK.  One of the recommendations in the report is around making sure that there is additional data that could be collected to look into exactly what the issue is and how it can be addressed and the extent of the problem.


Could you look into publishing data specifically on the pay of the self‑employed in London?  Would that be possible, do you think?


Sadiq Khan (Mayor of London):  I saw that.  I will ask my Economic Fairness Team to work with the Living Wage Foundation in raising awareness and also collecting the data you talk about.


Fiona Twycross AM:  Great.  Thank you.