Huge Rise In The Number Of Employers Paying The Living Wage In The Borough
08th November 2018

Huge Rise In The Number Of Employers Paying The Living Wage In The Borough

The number of Living Wage employers has gone up by 700% in three years.

This Living Wage Week, we are calling on local employers to follow our lead and pay the real Living Wage.

What is the real Living Wage?

The real Living Wage is the amount calculated by the Living Wage Foundation, based on what people need to meet the cost of living. In London, the real Living Wage is £10.55 an hour, which is nearly £3 higher than the Government’s so-called National Living Wage.

Latest figures show a huge rise in the number of employers paying their workers the Living Wage in the Lewisham borough. Since 2016 the number of accredited Living Wage employers in the borough has increased by over 700%. There are now over 5,000 people working at Living Wage employers across the borough. We have pledged to increase the number of Living Wage employers from the current level of 65 to at least 100 by 2022.

Leading the way

We have a proud record of promoting the Living Wage. In 2012, we were the first council in the UK, alongside Islington, to become an accredited Living Wage employer. Despite massive government funding cuts, we remain committed to fair pay and to the Living Wage.

In 2016, we introduced a Living Wage business rate incentive. Under the innovative scheme, we give a business rate discount of up to £6,000 to employers who commit to fair pay and get accredited with the Living Wage Foundation.

However, the borough still suffers from high levels of low pay. One in four people working in the borough earn below the Living Wage. This represents 13,000 jobs on poverty pay in the borough.

London Living Wage Week

To mark Living Wage Week, Damien Egan, Mayor of Lewisham and Councillor Joe Dromey, Cabinet Member for Jobs and Skills, have written to the borough’s 100 largest employers calling on them to pay the Living Wage. Over the week, the borough’s MPs and councillors will visit some of the 65 Living Wage employers across the borough to thank them for their commitment to fair pay.

Cllr Dromey said, ‘We are committed to building an economy that works for the many and to tackling poverty pay. We are proud to have been amongst the first Living Wage council in the country. But one in four jobs in the borough still pays below the Living Wage, so we have far more to do.

‘We are offering employers a business rate discount if they do the right thing and go Living Wage. We are calling on all employers to commit to fair pay, and to help us tackle poverty in the borough.’