London Council leads on Living Wage as consumers give thumbs up to Living Wage businesses.
The Living Wage Foundation today announced Lambeth Council as a recognised Living Wage Friendly Funder, meaning that besides paying all direct staff the real Living Wage, the council will support their funded charities to pay the Living Wage to grant-funded staff posts.
The announcement coincides with the publication of a report on the potential value to businesses paying the London Living Wage, and being accredited as doing so. The report - Living Wage South Bank – highlights that consumers are more likely to buy from companies whose wages are known to meet the cost of living in London.
The real Living Wage is an hourly pay rate, calculated annually based on a basket of goods method that reflects travel and rent costs and food, clothing and bills. It is currently set at £8.45/hr in the UK and £9.75/hr in London. The higher rate in London reflects the much higher living costs and escalating rents in the capital.
Helping launch the Living Wage South Bank report, Lambeth Council Leader, Cllr Lib Peck, said: “I’m proud that Lambeth is not only an accredited Living Wage employer, but now a Living Wage Friendly Funder. We strongly believe in Lambeth in the importance of a fair wage to help reduce inequality, and it is our aim to see every business and organisation in the borough pay their staff the Living Wage. It is good for working people, good for society and it is good for employers, creating a positive and dedicated workforce.”
According to the report - a summary of research undertaken on the potential impact of the London Living Wage, that spanned local businesses, consumers and residents - 90% of local consumers would be more likely to shop where staff wages meet the cost of living. The report also found that paying staff enough for them to live on, is likely to attract more customers and would encourage local residents to seek work with organisations that pay the London Living Wage and are accredited.
The Living Wage South Bank report – commissioned by South Bank Business Improvement District, the Living Wage Foundation and London Citizens, also found that :
- 75% of consumers would be prepared to pay more for the same product or service from a company that ensures its staff earn a wage that they can live on
- 87% of people would be more likely to buy a product or a service from a company that they knew was paying employees a wage that meets the cost of living in London, with 50% of consumers would be a lot more likely to buy such a product/service
The research highlighted that that paying the London Living Wage can enhance a company’s reputation, with 95% of local residents thinking these companies are better to work for, are respectful of staff and are responsible employers.
Also, 73% of residents said they would be more likely to consider working in the South Bank if its businesses paid them the London Living Wage.
Katherine Chapman, Director, Living Wage Foundation said: “We are delighted to launch with our partners the Living Wage South Bank report and to recognise Lambeth Council as a Living Wage Friendly Funder. The leadership shown demonstrates a commitment to tackling the serious problems that low pay brings to our communities. Lambeth Council already pays staff the Living Wage but it’s great to see them going further and supporting their funded charities to do so too.
“We now know from the South Bank Report that not only are reputations enhanced by paying the Living Wage, but that consumers like doing business with Living Wage employers.
"At a time when half of those in poverty live in a household where someone has a job, the real Living Wage is much needed by families across the UK. I hope this research encourages more of Lambeth’s businesses to pay the real Living Wage, rewarding a hard day’s work with a fair day’s pay.”
Nic Durston, Chief Executive of South Bank Business Improvement District said: “The Living Wage South Bank project and the associated research that underpins it highlights the potential benefits to businesses in paying the London Living Wage, and in becoming accredited as doing so. These benefits include consumer choices and spending, brand reputation, and how employers and businesses can attract more local residents into jobs.
"A number of South Bank businesses and employers already recognise the value of paying the Living Wage, as several are already accredited and others have become so during the course of the project. We will offer support to any South Bank employer who is considering becoming an accredited London Living Wage employer - whether advice and guidance, brokering business to business support, or providing further insight into ongoing research."