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‘Sunborn London’ becomes the 75th Living Wage Employer in Newham

‘Sunborn London’ becomes the 75th Living Wage Employer in Newham

On 5 May, the Sunborn London became the 75th Living Wage employer in Newham and the 26th Living Wage employer in the Royal Docks, committing to paying their workers a real Living Wage of £11.95.

For the community-led Royal Docks Association Group, who are working to increase the number of accredited Living Wage employers in the Royal Docks, this was a huge win years in the making.

Sunborn London receive their Living Wage Accreditation Plaque from Cllr Caroline Adaja – Newham Deputy Cabinet Member for Community Wealth Building, Business, Enterprise and Future World of Work

So, how did it begin?

Set up in June 2021, the Royal Docks Association group is made up of a coalition of local public, private, and third-sector accredited Living Wage employers. The group united over the shared goal of wanting to increase the number of accredited Living Wage Employers in the Royal Docks.

The Group is focused on driving accreditations in five business sectors with a strong presence in the Royal Docks economy: hotels, affordable workspace providers, property developers, aggregates operators, industrial estate employers and landlords.

One of their goals is to increase the number of accredited businesses by 50% by 2025. Achieving this would have a huge impact as it would secure a wage uplift for more than 3,000 employees.

Their long-term aim is to establish a norm that would see a real Living Wage as the minimum paid by all businesses based in the Royal Docks.

A change in direction...

Since forming, the action group has worked with 33 new organisations in the borough and helped them to become real Living Wage Employers, with 28 of those based in the Royal Docks, including London City Airport and Tate & Lyle Sugars, both major local employers.

However, something they quickly realised was that they had yet to engage with any hotels, one of their core five target sectors.

The Sunborn London is one of the largest luxury hotels in the area, whilst also offering lounge bars, spas and a restaurant. Together, the group made a unanimous decision to work together to target the hotel, knowing their accreditation would secure a wage uplift for the large number of staff working in all areas of the hotel.

Now the target had been agreed upon, the next step was to decide the best approach...

‘Love the Living Wage’...

After some brainstorming, the action group, alongside local leaders, decided to organise a Valentine’s themed action.

A week before Valentine’s Day, over 60 local leaders made and delivered Valentine’s Day cards to the Sunborn London, alongside other businesses within the Royal Docks such as the Crowne Plaza and to tenants at the Expressway Hub.

Those involved in the action included students from schools across Newham, including School 21, and from Queen Mary University of London.

Including messages such as ‘roses are red, violets are blue, give a Living Wage to those working for you’, the cards invited business to ‘Love The Living Wage’ and to attend an event being held at Expressway. The event was organised to allow businesses to find out more information and support around how to become a real Living Wage employer.

The action was a success with the Sunborn London agreeing to accredit as a Living Wage employer!

A mission that led to a milestone...

On 5 May, members of the Royal Docks Living Wage Action Group and local businesses gathered outside the Sunborn London to celebrate this milestone and witness the hotel being awarded their official Living Wage Accreditation Plaque.

Cllr Caroline Adaja, Deputy Cabinet Member for Community Wealth Building, was in attendance to give out the Plaque.

An amazing milestone to celebrate, and with it comes the hope that this huge win could lead the way in setting the standards on pay in the hospitality industry locally. 

We are proud to receive the London Living Wage Accreditation, and we hope it demonstrates our commitment to our employees both current and future. Sunborn London has adopted this practice in order to make a positive contribution to the wellbeing of our employees and the community in which we operate. It is beneficial for employee morale and maintaining Sunborn’s reputation as a socially responsible organisation Francisco Ventura, General Manager of the Sunborn London

Today marks a significant milestone as Sunborn London becomes the 75th Living Wage Employer in Newham and more importantly the 1st hotel in the Royal Docks to accredit, leading the way in setting the standard on pay in the local Hospitality Industry. It is now more important than ever to ensure local employers pay the real Living Wage which will help ease the cost-of-living crisis affecting many Londoners. Apart from being the right thing to do, paying the real Living Wage will drive forward an agenda around fairness whilst encouraging and supporting businesses to provide their employees with stability and security through these tough times Cllr Caroline Adaja, Newham Deputy Cabinet Member for Community Wealth Building, Business, Enterprise and Future World of Work

People standing together outside on a pavement with posters calling NHS trusts to pay the real living wage

Our vision is simple - we would like everyone in the Capital to get the real Living Wage. We've received £4.8 million in campaign funding and are working with the Mayor of London to make it happen.

However, we need workers, businesses and civil society groups to join us in the fight for fair pay!

Student writing on piece of paper at a table with other students and an adult

Learn more about East London Citizens and how you can get involved with their important work!

Posted by Sophie Thomhave-Lee on 21 Jul, 2023