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Hospitality and service provision

Making London a Living Wage City

With the Living Wage Foundation, we are working to make London a Living Wage City. This multi-year campaign will see us work to put £635m of wages back into the pockets of low-paid workers in London.

As part of this campaign, we are focusing on sectors where low pay is the most rampant, and where employers paying the real Living Wage can have the most impact in London. Two of these sectors are hospitality and service provision.

Hospitality and the real Living Wage

Hospitality includes work in:

  • Restaurants, pubs, bars
  • Clubs, venues and events
  • Hotels and accommodation
  • Food manufacturing & production

Why hospitality?

Hospitality has the highest portion of low-paid jobs in London of any sector. Businesses accrediting to pay the real Living Wage can change that.

70.4% of hospitality roles in London pay less than the real Living Wage, despite counting for over 10% of the capital’s employment. Almost a fifth of all hospitality employment across the UK occurs in London.

We see the problem of low pay even more in the accommodation sector; the average hourly rate for employees in the accommodation sector is £4 less than the average employee across the broader economy.

In the accommodation sector, low pay mainly affects younger workers and women with little scope for pay progression. The highest earning age group (40 – 50yrs) still earn £54 less per week than the average 22 – 29yr employee across the broader economy. Simultaneously, excessive executive pay still exists across the sector.

(Español) Para mí, es importante trabajar en la lucha por el salario digno porque reconforta saber que cuando llega el final del mes puedo cubrir todas mis necesidades prioritarias. / (English) Personally, I believe it is important to campaign in favour of the Real Living Wage because it is comforting to know that by the end of the month, I'll be able to cover the needs of my household. Wilma Zapata, Empoderando Familias

Service provision and the real Living Wage

Service provision work includes:

  • Cleaning
  • Security
  • Catering
  • Facilities management

Why service provision?

In 2021, more than half of elementary administration and service workers earned less than the real Living Wage.

Many service providers also work at night or at unsociable hours, where the problem of low pay is more widespread; while only 12% of all workers in the UK regularly work nights, 20% of workers who are in low-paid and insecure work regularly work nights.

(Español) El salario digno es un derecho para todos/as. Porque necesitamos que nos paguen lo justo por nuestro esfuerzo, porque si no tenemos un salario digno que nos ayude a mantener nuestro nivel de bienestar, no podemos hacer nada. No podemos avanzar. / (English) The real Living Wage is a right for all. Because we deserve fair pay for our work. If we don't earn enough to afford our wellbeing and dignified life, we cannot move forward. Martha Chimbo, Empoderando Familias

Action strand for hospitality and service provision

As part of the 'Making London a Living Wage City' campaign, we are supporting cross-sector coalitions to tackle low pay in London. These coalitions are made up of business leaders, workers, and key civil society groups who are coming together to make change.

Rosie Ferguson
CEO, House of St Barnabas

Phil Smith
Chairman, The Hill Club

Victoria Marshall
Head of People and Culture, Restaurants Associates

Christian Kaberg
Managing Director, St Pancras Hotel Group

Tim Thorlby
Managing Director, Clean for Good

Lilia Lamberto
Director of People, Principle Cleaning

Mark Goodyer
Director of People, Sodexo

Lola McEvoy
Membership Development Officer, GMB

Sophie Hooper
Head of Policy, IWFM

Julieta Cuneo
Senior Policy Officer, Greater London Authority, 24hr London

Alessio Koliulis
Lecturer, UCL

Michael Kill
CEO, NTIA

Amada Walter
Director, Centre for Progressive Change