More on the London Living Wage
About the London Living Wage
Although work is the most important route out of poverty, more and more poor households in the capital include someone who is working. 16% of all jobs in the capital are low-paid (more than one in five of London's jobs). Some 580,000 jobs were paid below the living wage level of £8.30 in 2011. This is a rise of around 100,000 compared to the number paid below the previous year's threshold. More data on low pay is available at the Trust's London's Poverty Profile.
The London Living Wage stipulates an hourly pay rate set above the National Minimum Wage (currently set by the Greater London Authority at £8.55 an hour). There is a UK rate which is set annually by the Centre for Research in Social Policy at Loughborough University and is currently £7.45 an hour. The Living Wage is not mandatory, like the National Minimum Wage, but nearly 100 employers in the capital are now paying it and are accredited by the Living Wage Foundation.
The campaign is strongly supported by both the previous and current Mayor of London. Mayor Johnson stated: "Paying the London Living Wage is not only morally right, but makes good business sense too. What may appear to be an unaffordable cost in a highly competitive market should more often be viewed as a sound investment decision. I believe that paying decent wages reduces staff turnover and produces a more motivated and productive workforce."
We agree. Not only are we a Living Wage employer - and encourage the groups we fund to pay a Living Wage - but we have also funded significant work related to this campaign since its inception.
The Living Wage Foundation was established through funding from Trust for London and this is now accrediting employers. We are pleased that the work is now seeing some considerable gains. In the public sector, six London local authorities are now accredited (Camden, Islington, Ealing, Hounslow, Lewisham and Southwark). In higher education, eight colleges and universities committed to a living wage though only one has accredited to date - Queen Mary (University of London). In the retail sector, LUSH became the first champion in May 2011, though further success in this low-pay sector has been slow. Other companies have signed up include Lloyd's of London, KPMG and PwC. Many civil society organisations have also accredited including Save the Children, TUC and IPPR.
The campaign has achieved a great deal to date - it is estimated by researchers at Queen Mary, University of London that since the campaign began, it has provided an additional £20 million into the pockets of low-paid workers across London. A full evaluation of the initiative will be available at the end of 2013.
We have funded three research reports on the living wage to increase knowledge about it, particularly relating to the costs and benefits:
The special initiative is supported by an Advisory Group of representatives with an interest in the living wage. The group is a broad coalition of members drawn from a range of interested parties and includes the TUC, London Councils, Greater London Authority, Business in the Community, KPMG, London First and Joseph Rowntree Foundation. Members also include key individuals from Trust for London, London Citizens, and from the research and evaluation teams.
Latest news from the GLA Living wage unit
Latest news from the London Living Wage Campaign
GLA announces 2011 Living Wage figure and launches Fairer London Report
Find out more about in-work poverty from our London's Poverty Profile.