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Service provision

Making London a Living Wage City

Everyone needs pay that provides security for themselves and their family.​ 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. This is true for service provisions, including cleaning, security and catering.

Service provision and the real Living Wage

Service provision work includes:

  • Cleaning
  • Security
  • Catering
  • Facilities management

Why service provision?

Whilst service provision covers several different occupations, as an industry it is one of the lowest paid in the UK. According to 2022 data, 35.9% of jobs that fall under ‘Services to building and landscape’, which includes most jobs that would be classified as service provision, are paid below the real Living Wage. This is the second most of any industry, behind only ‘Food and beverage services’, which itself would include catering jobs.

Cleaning jobs in particular stand out as some of the most likely to be paid less than the real Living Wage. In London for example, over 80% of elementary cleaning occupations were paid under the London Living Wage as of April 2022, with the median wage being only £9.72 vs. the London Living Wage at that time at £11.05 [according to the Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings]. The issue with service provision isn’t limited to cleaning however, with the same data showing that more than 57% of elementary security occupations also being paid below the London Living Wage, with a median wage of just £10.75.

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 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.

Gary Binder (Chair)
National Accounts Director, Churchill Group
London Region Chair, IWFM

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

Amy Lamé
Night Czar, Greater London Authority, 24hr London

Iris Breward
Worker Organiser, Centre for Progressive Change

Dolores Modern
Policy and Communications Manager on Employment Rights, LAWRS

Alessio Koliulis
Lecturer, UCL

Michael Kill

Sophie Hooper
Head of Policy, IWFM

Greg Austin
Director of People, Sodexo

Charlie Walker
Managing Director, Clean for Good