Published: Friday, 3rd November 2023
The biggest celebration of fair pay is here with Living Wage Week (6 to 12 November).
The Royal Borough of Greenwich is celebrating more than 100 businesses in the borough that are now accredited Living Wage Employers, cementing their commitment to paying all their staff and contractors the real Living Wage. This is a 22% increase since February.
The rise in Living Wage Employers follows a council-led Greenwich Living Wage campaign to encourage more businesses to sign up. As part of the initiative, last February the council allocated £36,000 to a small grants scheme for businesses to cover the cost of three years of accreditation with the Living Wage Foundation.
Set annually by the Living Wage Foundation charity, the real Living Wage wage rate is the only figure that is independently calculated to meet the real cost of living. It is higher than the government’s minimum as it takes into account rising costs – including fuel, energy, rent and food.
On Tuesday 24 October, the Living Wage Foundation announced that the hourly rate has increased to £13.15 in London.
Councillor Mariam Lolavar, Cabinet Member for Inclusive Economy, Business and Skills, said: “We’re excited to have more accredited Living Wage Employers than ever before to celebrate this Living Wage Week. That’s thousands of lower-paid workers in Royal Greenwich who will be receiving a 10% increase in salary this year following the Living Wage Foundation announcement.”
“Championing the real Living Wage is at the heart of our work to tackle in-work poverty and create a more inclusive local economy. But we couldn’t do it without the vision of local employers who understand the long-term business benefits of adopting the real Living Wage.
“With communities still struggling with the cost of living crisis it’s more important than ever to ensure our residents receive fair pay. We know these are particularly challenging times for businesses as well, so we want to thank them for stepping up, providing certainty and stability to their employees, and for their leadership encouraging other employers to as well.”
If you’re a Royal Greenwich-based business, find out how to become a Living Wage Employer, and apply for the grants to cover your accreditation, by visiting royalgreenwich.gov.uk/become-a-living-wage-employer.
The Greenwich Living Wage campaign, led by the council, has received £53,000 from the UK government through the UK Shared Prosperity Fund.
Ruthie Carlisle Brown from Emergency Exit Arts, an accredited Living Wage Employer, said: "Whether we are taking art to the streets of Royal Greenwich, running workshops in London schools or bringing a giant puppet to your local festival, we are committed to ensuring all the people involved in making it happen are treated with respect and paid a wage that they can live on. By becoming an accredited Living Wage employer, we can show what we have stood by for so long: everyone deserves a fair and liveable wage.”
Michael Geissler from Mo-Sys, another accredited Living Wage Employer, said: “We draw a lot of people into the borough, both highly specialised and lots of others who want to get involved and build their experience in the field but might be on a lower salary. For us it’s important that they are paid the London Living Wage at least. We know it’s difficult in London to get on your feet. You can’t survive on the minimum wage. We want to help that and try to be as fair as possible as employers.”
Becoming a Living Wage Place
The Royal Borough of Greenwich is working with the Living Wage Foundation, employers, and institutions across the borough to radically increase the number of real Living Wage accredited businesses in the city and to make Royal Greenwich a Living Wage Place.
This is a recognition by the Living Wage Foundation that celebrates the geographical areas that are doing more to expand the uptake of the living wage.
Find out more about Living Wage Places.