Mayor Philip Glanville said he is “proud” that Hackney Council is a London Living Wage (LLW) employer after today’s announcement that the rate has increased to £10.20 an hour.
The LLW, previously £9.75 an hour, is based on the real cost of living in the capital, with today’s increase driven by higher inflation and rising private rents and transport costs.
The UK Living Wage, for workers outside London, has also risen by 30p to £8.75 an hour.
— Mayor of Hackney (@mayorofhackney) November 6, 2017
The voluntary “real living wage” is a campaign started by community action group Citizens UK in 2001, when it set up the Living Wage Foundation.
Both its UK and London rates, which were first introduced in 2011, are calculated independently by living standards think-tank The Resolution Foundation.
They are different to the government’s compulsory National Living Wage, which is currently set at £7.05 for under 25s and £7.50 an hour for over 25s.
Speaking at the start of Living Wage Week 2017, Sadiq Khan said: “I pledged to ensure the London Living Wage rises to beyond £10 and I am delighted that has been achieved.
“I am determined to make London a fairer and more equal city, and the news that more 1,500 businesses are paying the wage is a good step towards achieving that.
“But we need to go further – and for many more businesses and organisations to sign up.”
Hackney Council is signed up to the LLW, and Mayor Philip Glanville has previously urged all businesses in the borough to follow its lead.
When the rate was increased to £9.75 last year, Glanville said: “We have worked hard to ensure that all staff that work for the council are paid the London Living Wage, which is a fair salary to help meet the cost of living in our borough.
“With our accreditation, we are helping to set an example to other businesses across Hackney to make pay equal and sign-up to become London Living Wage accredited.”
Some Hackney employers, including the Picturehouse cinema opposite the Town Hall, pay some staff less than LLW.
Workers at the cinema, which is owned by screen giant CineWorld, have been campaigning for LLW for more than a year, and have been on strike a number of times.
Happy to return to my boycott: https://t.co/uaDwEf95B4
— PhilipGlanville (@PhilipGlanville) October 16, 2016
Glanville tweeted last year to say he was “happy to return to my boycott” of Picturehouse over its refusal to pay LLW.
Sadiq Khan added: “Paying the London Living Wage is not only the action of a responsible organisation, but a successful one too.
“Many of the accredited employers I speak to tell me of the increased productivity and reduced staff turnover that they’ve experienced since signing up.”
Heathrow today became the first airport in the country to sign up for the LLW – joining more than 1,000 employers across the capital who are already accredited.
Living Wage Foundation director Katherine Chapman said: “The new Living Wage rates announced today will bring relief for thousands of UK workers being squeezed by stagnant wages and rising inflation.
“It’s thanks to the leadership of over 3,600 employers across the UK who are committed to paying all their staff, including cleaners and security staff, a real Living Wage.
“Heathrow Airport signing up is a major milestone for the Living Wage movement. As the first Living Wage airport, bringing a pay-rise to 3,200 workers, Heathrow sets an example for other major UK employers to follow.”
Chapman recognised the Hackney Citizen as an accredited LLW employer, saying: “We have lots of small businesses as well as big household names like IKEA, Aviva, Chelsea and Everton Football Clubs and many more.
“These businesses recognise that the Living Wage accreditation is the mark of a responsible employer and they – like the Hackney Citizen – join us because they too believe that a hard day’s work deserves a fair day’s pay.”
The Citizen has paid its staff London Living Wage since it was first introduced in 2011, and editor Keith Magnum said he was “delighted” to receive the recognition.
Living Wage Week 2017 runs until 11 November, with events taking place across the UK.
For more information, please visit www.livingwage.org.uk