More than 5,000 workers get London Living Wage pay rise

A borough has announced it has more than 330 employers who pay the London Living Wage thanks to the support of the council’s Living Wage Unit.

More than 5,000 workers in Southwark have benefitted from the pay rise, ensured by the council and 

The London Living Wage is currently £13.15 per hour – 21 per cent more than the Government minimum wage – and is the only wage rate based on the additional costs of living in London.

Southwark employers who pay the London Living Wage include Borough Market, Mercato Metropolitano and Dulwich Hamlet Football Club. Organisations campaign with the support of the council, universities, property developers ands charities to keep Southwark a Living Wage Place.

Gather is an organic zero waste store in Bellenden Road, Peckham. It became a Living Wage employer in 2019 when it first took on staff.

Tash Gorst, founder of Gather, said: “Business is about people, so it matters how you treat yours. We’ve always paid the Living Wage. 

From left, Cllr Williams, Dr Dima Mekdad (Candoco Dance Company), Jasmin Fiori (Candoco Dance Company) and Cllr Seaton (Picture: Southwark council)

“Our staff are the heart of Gather; they care, they’re engaged and they stick around – for much longer than is typical for retail. And when we do need to recruit, we get plenty of strong applicants. 

“The Living Wage benefits everyone. We’re big fans.”

The London Living Wage is paid on a voluntary basis, 94 per cent of employers said they benefitted from signing up to pay the London Living Wage, citing a boost in reputation, recruitment, and retention of staff. 

Candoco is a world-leading professional and inclusive dance company, based out of Mountview in Peckham Hill Street, Peckham.

Dr Dima Mekdad, executive director of Candoco Dance Company, said: “At Candoco, we aim to enhance our team’s experience of working at the company, paying London’s Living Wage as a minimum in our pay structure is essential and reflects our values.”

Cllr Seaton, Alex Birtles (In Good Company), Cllr Williams, Sarah Kingston (In Good Company) (Picture: Southwark council)

Over the last two and a half years, £614,000 has been added to Southwark’s economy because workers have received a wage uplift on to the London Living Wage. 

When money is reinvested in this way, it supports other businesses and jobs in the borough. 

Councillor Kieron Williams, leader of Southwark council, said: “The message is loud and clear: the London Living Wage is good for workers, good for business, and good for our economy. 

“That’s why we established the council’s Living Wage Unit to support employers to pay the London Living Wage. 

“We are proud that Southwark leads the way with more and more employers who think, like us, that people deserve to be paid fairly for their hard work. It’s more important than ever with the rising cost of living.”

Pictured top: Rhea Mitchell, employee of Gather in Peckham (Picture: Southwark council)

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