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Over 73,000 people work for real Living Wage employers headquartered in Southwark

14 November 2022

This Living Wage week (14-20 November), Southwark Council is urging more businesses to join them in tackling low pay in the borough.

  • Southwark Council has been a Living Wage employer since 2012 and became the first London Living Wage Place in March 2020
  • 256 local employers now pay the London Living Wage in Southwark. Of their 73,097 workers, 6,336 employees have been uplifted onto the real Living Wage
  • 9.1% of jobs in Southwark are below the Living Wage. If these were uplifted to the Living Wage, it would generate over £16m in economic growth for the borough

The real Living Wage is the only wage rate independently calculated based on what people need to live on. This is more important than ever before given the rising cost of living.

People who work in retail and hospitality are among the lowest paid in London. Southwark is the lead council behind a joint event this week with Lambeth and Lewisham to help address this, where businesses from the sector will hear from existing Living Wage employers.

As part of the council's efforts to expand uptake of the living wage in Southwark, they work with a steering group made up of local partners. This includes: Better Bankside BID, British Land, Dulwich Hamlet FC, Kings College London, Lendlease, Mercato Metropolitano, Southbank Employers Group, St Giles Trust, Team London Bridge, and Regular Cleaning.

Living Wage Week
Ben Clasper and Ja'maica Douglas

Employers report that paying the real Living Wage is good for business. For example, Dulwich Hamlet FC say their staff are more motivated in their work and the club has benefitted from a reputational boost.

Ben Clasper, Chairman of Dulwich Hamlet FC, said: “We believe our staff should be afforded a good quality of life living in Zone 2 in Central London. We are not funded by a millionaire, but we can choose to do the right thing by our staff and pay them a competitive wage.”

Bartender Ja’maica Douglas started working at the club in 2021 aged 18. She said: “It is a huge deal for youngsters starting out, especially with living prices going up. It is definitely worth coming back to work and wanting to do well. I always feel like I am being valued and looked after at Dulwich.”

Cllr Martin Seaton, Cabinet Member for Jobs, Business & Town Centres, said: "We have long believed a hard day’s work deserves a fair day’s pay, especially as the cost of living soars. Everyone wins when people are paid the real Living Wage: staff, employers, the local economy and therefore our residents. Building on the borough's success so far, we are committed to doubling the number of Living Wage employers in Southwark."

Find out more about becoming a Living Wage employer or to submit an application, visit

Page last updated: 14 November 2022

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