The Living Wage
The Living Wage is an hourly rate, set independently, every year (by the GLA in London). It is calculated according to the cost of living and gives the minimum pay rate required for a worker to provide their family with the essentials of life. In London the current rate (2011) is £8.30 per hour. Outside of London the current rate is £7.20.
The Mayor of London and the Greater London Authority are committed to ensuring that London remains an international, open, diverse, creative, competitive and socially cohesive city. The London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games is an opportunity to showcase the city's greatest talents to the rest of the world.
London - in common with towns and cities across the UK - relies on the work of many who carry out its essential functions every day – from office cleaners and catering staff to care-workers in social services. It is important that their skills and commitment to London’s success are recognised, and one of the most fundamental ways of doing this is to ensure that all Londoners are paid properly. That means receiving at least the ‘London Living Wage’, which is designed to provide a minimum acceptable quality of life.
The success of the London Living Wage depends on the extent of its acceptance by employers. Good progress has been made with some private sector companies committing to the London Living Wage. This has had the backing and leadership of the GLA, which pays the London Living Wage to thousands of its own contractors, such as via contracts from Transport for London and the London Metropolitan Police. There are now over 100 London-based employers signed up to the Living Wage.
Paying the London Living Wage has enormous potential to reduce child poverty in London. This is particularly important in the catering sector, which relies on many part-time employees, and a large number of women and low-income parents. It also makes good business sense. What may appear to a company to be an unaffordable cost in a highly competitive market is more appropriately viewed as a sound investment decision. Paying decent wages reduces staff turnover and produces a more motivated and productive workforce.
How you can help low-income workers make a decent living
As part of the Food Legacy 2012 programme, we encourage caterers to sign up to the Living Wage, and make a public statement that they are doing so, to inspire others to join in, and make the Living Wage the norm for the catering sector. You can help:
- The Greater London Authority and Olympic Delivery Authority are committed to paying the London Living Wage. You can too! Doing so has been identified as one of the main ways to help families with children to get out of the poverty trap. Sign up to the Food Legacy pledge and make a commitment to the Living Wage.
- For London-based organisations, find out more about Fairer London: The GLA's support for the London Living Wage and the London 2012 Living Wage campaign run by Citizens UK.
What is healthy and sustainable food?
Follow the links below, to find out about support or advice to help turn good food ideas into action: