Council ‘flags’ importance of Living Wage for awareness week

5 November 2018

Southwark Council is flying the flag to highlight the importance of being able to earn a Living Wage this week - and is calling on more of its local businesses both large and small, to follow its example and become Living Wage employers.

Today (Monday 5 November) is the start of Living Wage Week – a national campaign run by the Living Wage Foundation to promote and support the idea that a hard day’s work deserves a hard day’s pay. To kick start the week, the Foundation has announced the new Living Wage rates have risen to £10.55 per hour in London (£9 per hour in the rest of the country).

Southwark is an accredited Living Wage employer, meaning it pays a real living wage to all staff – including our apprentices and contracted staff through its supply chain. Over 100 businesses in Southwark are Living Wage employers already, and the council is looking to double that number.

Cllr Kieron Williams, cabinet member for jobs, skills and innovation, said: “We’re calling on employers to pay a real Living Wage both because it’s the right thing to do and because it is good for business.

“It is not right that so many in our city end each week’s work without enough to live on. As employers we all need to do our bit to make sure that is not the case for the people working for us, be they employees or contractors.  Offering a fair day’s pay for a fair day’s work has real business benefits too, including more committed and motivated staff and a higher quality of work.

“As a council we have lead the way, making sure all our staff and contractors get at least the London Living Wage. It’s fantastic news that so many other employers in our borough are following suit.  Now we want to support the rest to do the same.”

Lorna Gavin, Chair of the Southwark Business Forum, said: “As Chair of Southwark Business Forum and as an employee of Gowling WLG, a Living Wage employer, I applaud the Living Wage as a concept and urge employers across Southwark to come on board as Living Wage employers.  

“Paying the Living Wage to your employees and contractors can make the difference between them being able to live on their salary and having to try to hold down two or more jobs to make ends meet.  The dividend benefits the employer – with more motivated and loyal staff – and of course the employees and contractors, and their families.  It makes good business sense and is an integral part to the wellbeing and prosperity of the borough."

Lena Lindsay is a Business Administrator Apprentice for Team London Bridge. She said: “I like to consider working at Team London Bridge my first real job. I feel like part of the team, that my voice is heard and that I am not just there to sit and do but to contribute as well. I would definitely say that is thanks to the London Living Wage.

“Having an employer that believes and invests in me has given me back some self confidence and being paid the London Living Wage gives me my independence to do what I want to do. Apprenticeships should NOT be labelled as low paid jobs where you get a qualification at the end. Paying the London Living Wage for apprenticeships provides real jobs and truly valuable experiences.”

Southwark is also a Friendly Funder council. This means it supports charities to pay the real Living Wage through our grants, to help end low pay in the charity sectors.

Page last updated: 05 November 2018