Southwark Council wins 'Living Wages Places Champion Award' for Dedication to Real Living Wage

6 June 2019

At last night’s annual Living Wage Champion Awards, Southwark Council was recognised for its commitment to the Living Wage, both as an accredited employer and for its role influencing other businesses in the borough to pay the real Living Wage.

Southwark was awarded a “Places Champion Award” for its dedication to expanding the take-up of the real Living Wage across the borough. The council has committed to doubling the number of Living Wage employers in Southwark by 2022 and has made real strides with 144 local employers accredited so far. The council has also worked with development partner Lendlease on Elephant Park, which is on track to become the first Living Wage Zone in the country.

Cllr Stephanie Cryan, Cabinet Member for Jobs, Business and Innovation who accepted the award on behalf of Southwark Council commented: “The Living Wage has been at the heart of our vison for Southwark for over a decade. I am thrilled to say that the council has led the drive for the real Living Wage, both as an employer and building a coalition of champions among local businesses.

“As a council we’ve organised high profile events and campaigns, bringing together businesses, neighbouring boroughs and partners to champion the Living Wage. The success of Elephant Park, which will be the first Living Wage Zone in the country, is a great achievement and testament to the council and Lendlease’s commitment to the Living Wage”.

The council is working with development partner Lendlease to make Elephant Park, a new development scheme in Elephant and Castle, the first Living Wage Zone in the country. All 1,400 workers involved in the construction of Elephant Park are paid the real Living Wage, and now that commitment will be extended to cover the completed development including 50 new businesses and 50,000 sq ft of workspace.

Kristy Lansdown, Lendlease’s Project Director of Elephant Park said: “We’re immensely proud of what we are delivering at Elephant Park in partnership with Southwark Council, and we couldn’t do this without the hard work and dedication of the people who are helping us create this special part of London. Paying the Living Wage is good for everyone, it strengthens the local economy and is simply the right thing to do.”

Southwark has also committed to making Canada Water and Old Kent Road, two of London’s largest regeneration areas, Living Wage Neighbourhoods. Working with key anchor institutions across the borough to promote the Living Wage, the council’s ultimate ambition is to make the whole of Southwark a Living Wage Place.

Southwark Council’s commitment to the Living Wage includes:

  • Being an accredited Living Wage employer (including all staff and contractors) and a Living Wage Funder
  • Implementing the Ethical Care Charter that guarantees a Living Wage for home and residential care workers
  • Signing up over 50 employers to the apprenticeship standard that guarantees the  Living Wage for apprentices
  • A commitment to doubling the number of Living Wage employers in the borough, with 144 already accredited

The real Living Wage is currently £9.00 across the UK and £10.55 in London. Unlike the government’s minimum wage, it is independently calculated based on the cost of living. There are currently 5,000 Living Wage employers that pay the real Living Wage rate.

Katherine Chapman, Director of the Living Wage Foundation, said: “Congratulations to Southwark Council on winning a Living Wage Places Champion Award this evening. Southwark Council has shown long-standing commitment to paying and promoting the real Living Wage and has been integral to securing over 137 local employers accredited in Southwark so far. ”

The annual Living Wage Champion Awards celebrate notable employers that pay the Living Wage and last night’s awards were hosted by Martin Lewis at the Guildhall, London. The awards were sponsored by Aviva, Heathrow and City of London.

Page last updated: 06 June 2019