Council To Pay London Living Wage on New Contracts

New administration commits to higher rate for staff of external companies

Unions in the borough had been demanding end to 'two-tier' workforce. Picture: Battersea & Wandsworth Trades Union Council

The councillor set to be elected the official leader of Wandsworth Council later this month has confirmed all new contracts signed by the council will guarantee its workers the London Living Wage.

Cllr Simon Hogg, who leads the majority party on the council, says all new town hall contracts signed with external companies will include requirements that they pay their staff an enhanced level of pay as was pledged in his party’s manifesto.

He added, “We are committed to making sure that anyone working on a council contract in Wandsworth is paid a decent wage for a decent day’s work.

“This includes people who do some of the borough’s most difficult and challenging jobs, including those who clean our streets, collect our refuse and recycling and care for the sick and elderly in care homes.

“There is no moral justification for paying people less, especially at a time when household bills are going through the roof and families are struggling. Under my administration, any company that tenders for a council contract will need to guarantee that their workforce is paid the London Living Wage as a minimum.”

It is understood that the measure will not be retrospective some workers employed by council contractors will still be paid less than this benchmark and that Wandsworth Council has yet to be given London Living Wage accredited status.

The move comes as a new London-wide steering group has been established to persuade employers across the capital to pay their staff the London Living Wage.

Supported by London Mayor Sadiq Khan and a coalition of civil society, business and public organisations, the new ‘Making London a Living Wage City’ project Steering Group, aims to boost the number of accredited Living Wage and Living Hours employers across the capital

The steering group will be co-chaired by the Mayor, the Rt Revd and Rt Hon Dame Sarah Mullally DBE, Bishop of London, and Anna Purchas, London Office Senior Partner at KPMG. The project, led by Citizens UK and the Living Wage Foundation, has already seen 450 newly accredited employers in London.

Despite a steady rise in the number of employers committing to a London Living Wage, nearly a fifth of jobs - representing 700,000 Londoners, still pay less than the London Living Wage.

Mayor Sadiq Khan said, “I’m proud that since becoming Mayor, the number of employers committed to paying the London Living Wage has quadrupled – with 450 more signing up just in the last eight months. But with Londoners facing the cost of living crisis, I’m determined to do more to support lower paid workers. That’s why I will ask the steering committee to adopt ambitious new Spring 2024 targets for the Making London a Living Wage City programme. This includes accrediting a further 1,000 new Living Wage Employers, which will ensure 50,000 more Londoners are uplifted to the London Living Wage each year.

"Boosting the incomes of low paid workers makes sense – it’s what’s best for employees as well as the productivity of businesses and organisations as a whole. As Mayor, I’ll continue to do all I can to support lower paid Londoners as we seek to build a better, fairer London for everyone.”

Rt Revd and Rt Hon Dame Sarah Mullally DBE, Bishop of London, said, “Civil society institutions such as churches, mosques, synagogues and community groups hear the stories on the ground about how workers and their families are struggling to get by on low pay. We see first-hand how it affects those in our communities and the impact it has on their lives, which is why we must be part of the solution. Everyone deserves a wage they can use to live off – not just survive.”

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May 17, 2022