Living Wage Week runs from Monday 5th November – Saturday 11th November. The purpose of Living Wage Week is to promote the benefits of the real Living Wage, and to encourage more employers to become accredited Living Wage employers.
The real Living Wage is the amount calculated by the Living Wage Foundation, based on what people need to meet the cost of living. It is £10.20 an hour in London – nearly £3 higher than the Government’s so-called National Living Wage. The new rate will be announced on Monday 5th November.
There are over 4,600 accredited Living Wage employers who believe their workers deserve a fair day’s pay for a hard day’s work. To become a Living Wage employer, an organisation has to pay employees the real Living Wage, and ensure that outsourced workers also receive the Living Wage.
The Living Wage in Lewisham
Lewisham Council is committed to tackling poverty and building an economy that works for the many. We are proud that Lewisham Council was the joint first local authority to become an accredited Living Wage employer in 2012.
However, despite our commitment to fair pay and tackling poverty, Lewisham still suffers from high levels of low pay.
- 24% of people working in Lewisham earn below the real Living Wage
- 22% of people living in Lewisham earn below the real Living Wage
If we are to tackle poverty pay in Lewisham, we need to encourage more employers to follow our lead, and to pay at least the real Living Wage.
In 2014, we introduced a business rate discount to encourage employers to go Living Wage. Under the scheme, employers who get accredited with the Living Wage Foundation get a one-off discount on their business rate bill equivalent to five times the cost of accreditation. It’s our way of rewarding employers who do the right thing, and who commit to fair pay.
Since the introduction of the discount in 2016, the number of Living Wage employers has risen from 8 to 65, a rise of over 700%. Over 5,000 people work at Living Wage employers in Lewisham.
But we need to do more. In 2018, we pledged to double the number of Living Wage employers in Lewisham to 100 by 2022. We are well on track to smash this manifesto commitment – but we need your help.
During Living Wage Week, we want to:
- Highlight the importance of the Living Wage to tackling poverty in Lewisham
- Celebrate our record and the fantastic Living Wage employers in our borough
- Push more employers to do the right thing and go Living Wage