Southwark celebrates Living Wage Week and calls for employers to offer a working wage

13 November 2019

Southwark Council is once again 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.

Living Wage Week is 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.

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. 164 businesses in Southwark are Living Wage employers already. In 2018 the council committed to doubling the number of accredited Living Wage businesses and are well on the way with 48 new accredited employers in past 20 months.

On Tuesday 12 November, as part of the celebrations for Living Wage Week, the council – with its partners Lambeth and Lewisham - held a special event for businesses in the borough to learn more about the benefits of offering a living wage. The event was hosted by LSBU, one of Southwark’s largest Living Wage employers, in their apprenticeship hub the Passmore Centre.

Guests heard more about the Living Wage Foundation, bidding for council contracts and promoting health and well being among employees.

Cllr Stephanie Cryan, cabinet member for jobs, business and innovation, said: “Southwark Council is committed to being a full employment borough. This means more than just getting people into jobs, though that is what we are doing helping over 8,000 people into work over since 2014. It also means giving people opportunities to grow and develop in their work. But this is only possible if people are being paid a fair and decent wage for their wok, which is why we actively encourage our local businesses to offer their staff a Living Wage.

“There are benefits for the employers too as staff who are paid better are more likely to be hard-working, loyal and stay with the business.

“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.”  

Julie Abraham, CEO of Richer Sounds, a Living Wage employer, says: “Richer Sounds opened their first store in  Southwark in 1978 and have always firmly believed that happy colleagues = happy customers. The formula for us definitely includes paying The REAL Living Wage – everyone should be able to afford housing, food, travel and entertainment, and the odd luxury every now and then. We are proud to be a Living Wage employer and encourage all companies, big and small to join us and help improve the lives of  the lowest paid workers in the UK.”

Page last updated: 13 November 2019

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