Living Wage Week event with Cllr Hyland and accredited employers at the Town Hall
Cllr Denise Hyland, former Cabinet Member for Inclusive Economy Business and Skills, celebrated Living Wage Week with Living Wage Employers

Published: Monday, 6th February 2023

A new initiative to help businesses in Royal Greenwich to gain Living Wage Employer accreditation has been allocated £36,000 by the Royal Borough of Greenwich.

The aim is to encourage businesses in the borough to pay the real Living Wage and to get accredited through the Living Wage Foundation. 

The real Living Wage is the only wage rate independently calculated based on what people need to provide for themselves and their families. It takes into account rising costs – including fuel, energy, rent and food. The real Living Wage rate is currently set at £11.95 in London. Businesses that pay this rate to all directly employed and sub-contracted staff, can become accredited Living Wage Employers to show their commitment to their staff, partners, funders and other businesses and stakeholders.  

Councillor Mariam Lolavar, Cabinet Member for Inclusive Economy, Business and Skills, said: 

“Promoting a real Living Wage is one of the Council's key priorities for tackling in-work poverty in the borough amidst the cost of living crisis, particularly for the lowest paid. Since 2013, the Council has been an accredited Living Wage Employer and has since established a Business Rates Relief Scheme for registered Living Wage businesses.  

“We want to continue to support and elevate the businesses that put their employees first during the current crisis. This small grant scheme provides another incentive for employers who want to do the right thing by paying the real Living Wage and helps them to cement their commitment by getting the accreditation.  

“Adopting the real Living Wage benefits employers as well as workers. This is why it’s at the front and centre of our work to tackle the cost of living crisis.” 

The Council’s grants scheme covers the cost of three years of accreditation through the Living Wage Foundation for the first 100 businesses, of 250 employees or less, that come forward. There are currently 85 accredited businesses in Royal Greenwich, with more in the process of joining up.  

The grants scheme was announced by Councillor Denise Hyland, former Cabinet Member for Inclusive Economy, Business and Skills, at an event celebrating Living Wage Week on Tuesday 15 November at the Woolwich Town Hall, attended by the Living Wage Foundation, local Living Wage Employers and businesses interested in becoming accredited.  

Businesses who wish to apply, and fulfil the criteria for the grants scheme, can do so easily by filling out a form. Find out more here. 

Promoting the London Living Wage also forms one of the key pillars of the Community Wealth Building Strategy for Royal Greenwich. 

Katherine Chapman, Director of the Living Wage Foundation, said: “We’d like to congratulate the Royal Borough of Greenwich on the launch of its grants initiative, which will help and support more businesses in Royal Greenwich to gain Living Wage accreditation. With the cost of living rising, it’s never been more important for workers to earn a real Living Wage, calculated based on the cost of living." 

Marco Olmi, Managing Director at Drury Tea & Coffee Co., an accredited Living Wage Employer in Royal Greenwich, said: “As a fourth-generation family business we care about our employees, paying the London Living Wage proves this and is vital in cementing the relationship between all our colleagues. Paying the London Living Wage is not always the easy path for a business, but it is the right path.” 

Pedro Lopez, Owner, Peter's Panas, an accredited Living Wage Employer in Royal Greenwich, said: “At Peter's Panas, we believe that our employees are the backbone of our business, and we're committed to treating them with the respect and dignity they deserve. That's why we're thrilled to announce that we've joined the Living Wage Accreditation, and we're proud to say that all of our employees are now paid a fair and livable wage.

We believe that everyone deserves a wage that allows them to live with dignity and support themselves and their families. By joining the Living Wage Accreditation, we're taking a step forward in ensuring that our employees are not just surviving, but thriving. We hope that this will inspire other businesses to follow our lead and prioritize the well-being of their employees.

At Peter's Panas, we're not just about making delicious arepas, empanadas, and other Venezuelan specialties - we're also about creating a workplace that values and supports our employees. We know that happy employees make for happy customers, and we're committed to doing everything we can to ensure that everyone who works with us is treated fairly and with the respect they deserve.

So come visit us and support a business that is committed to doing the right thing. Peter's Panas is taking over London, one arepa at a time - and we're doing it in a way that benefits our employees, our customers, and our community as a whole."


  1. The Community Wealth Building Strategy has been developed by the Council working with the Centre for Economic Strategies (CLES). It underpins a new approach to economic development that will help the Council deliver a more inclusive economy, that works better for businesses and local people by retaining and redirecting wealth locally.