London Living Wage

2 months ago (4:58 AM)
To join this discussion please register or log in



Sad to see there have been no comments. Although 400 plus employers are accredited there are thousands of employers still to go. Cleaning contractors, retailers, careworkers and catering outlets are woefully missing from the list. While branding businesses is a good idea, which should be promoted, focusing on the business sectors with the most low pay will give the greatest returns. A combination of encouraging firms, even embarrassing them, if necessary, and selective awards of public contracts and grants will create an environment where the LLW becomes the accepted practice. All organisations already paying the LLW or more should be prompted to ensure their contractors and subcontractors also comply.


I agree wholeheartly - the LLW NEEDS TO BE IMMPLENTED ON MASSE- the majority of Londoners are struggling with rising costs of living working and eating.


Some sort of incentive that would actually be useful to small businesses would be a good idea - some sort of free advertising or promotion perhaps?

It would have to be a worthwhile platform or it wouldn't really be an incentive though...


Create a smart phone app, arranged by area and business sector. It will promote businesses paying the London living wage to people who want to shop responsibly, in the same way as Fairtrade works.


Two thoughts.
1. Ensure all public employees receive the LLW (at least) - thus ensuring a full take up of public positions and pressure on the corresponding private sectors to match.
2. Only awarding public contracts to those firms/businesses, etc which can demonstrate that they are paying the LLW.

Talk London

Hi Owen.Williams,

Thank you for flagging this up. These have now been fixed.

Talk London Community Manager


Where can I get the badge from...? presumably there's reams of form filling before we get a sniff at it.


Work through BIDS, for eg, to encourage employers to pay the living wage. Make Housing Associations and councils inform their tenants about whether or not they pay the living wage, and what their policies are on taking on contractors that pay the living wage (and which use zero hours contracts).


The London Living Wage should not be voluntary. It should be a law. When you read of business making millions of pounds profit, they cannot pay their staff a living wage? Rubbish. As for giving them badges, that, for me is a load of rubbish! Sorry.


Exactly. Slavery hasn't been abolished with "we don't own slaves" badges and child labor hasn't been abolished with "we only employ workers over 16" badges either.

Talk London

Thanks all for your comments and suggestions so far. A couple of you have asked questions or suggested things that we can shed some light on; for example, it’s true that cleaning contractors, retailers, care workers and catering businesses are underrepresented in the list of Living Wage employers. That said, in the past year, there have been many positive developments in these sectors – we’ve seen the first accredited cleaning company (CTS Cleaning Solutions), the first coffee shop (Kaffeine), the first catering company (Party Ingredients) and other related businesses such as Stepney City Farm and the East London Liquor Company – and there’s ongoing work underway in these sectors to encourage more uptake.

In terms of incentives, although City Hall (as a government body) is subject to rules that mean it can’t promote or give free advertising to individual businesses, the Mayor is a vocal champion for businesses that have committed to the LW - and these are all listed on the Living Wage Foundation website. The incentive for smaller businesses should also be that they see benefits in terms of higher staff productivity, greater loyalty and improved morale.

A smartphone app is a really interesting idea – perhaps something that could be considered in future as more and more businesses sign-up. At present however it would seem that the number of listed, accredited Living Wage employers may not necessitate or justify the development costs of an app. The Living Wage Foundation website currently has a full list of Living Wage employers in the UK and their ultimate aim is that the Living Wage initiative is actually sought out by consumers in a similar way  to Fairtrade.

Many public sector employees have signed up to pay the Living Wage, including a commitment to those employed through contractors. The Greater London Authority (GLA) group (including Transport for London, the London Legacy Development Corporation, the London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority and the Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime) has done so for many years and also pays apprentices the LW (above the legal requirement). The Met Police is also accredited. 11 London boroughs are accredited Living Wage employers, while a number of others pay the LW to their direct staff and many contractors. A number of NHS trusts are also signed up. Unfortunately, procurement rules in the public sector often mean that the process of committing to the Living Wage is quite slow with a number of legal hurdles to jump over to ensure that competition for contracts is fair.

In terms of promotion, many Business Improvement Districts are promoting the Living Wage among their members. Canary Wharf is in the process of becoming the first Living Wage Zone, and a number of similar initiatives are underway in other parts of the capital. For some BIDs however, depending on the types of businesses in their area, it can be more difficult. All Living Wage employers, including many councils and housing associations, are encouraged to celebrate their accreditation and communicate it to people who use their services.

Hope this is all helpful information. Keep the ideas coming on how to encourage uptake!

Talk London Community Manager 


There is certainly a need to do something to make it harder for Housing Associations to take on contractors that don't pay the living wage. My HA landlord has just awarded a repairs and maintenance contract to a company with a bad reputation for its services, that uses zero hours for its employees. The company that had the contract for the previous 10 years was reasonably good, paid its workers fairly, and was operating the contract on a tiny profit margin. For the new company's bid to be lower, the their wage costs must be lower. The difference between the two bids can only have been tiny, and the HA is not obliged to take the lowest of all bids, especially where the lowest-bidding company has a bad services record.


I think the whole building industry/property development/ lack of transparent information on land ownership needs radical overhaul.


Even £9+ is a laughable amount to live on in this city. I am sure London will lose out because of the rapidly increasing inequality in wealth and will become a gated Marie Celeste of a place with all the wealthy foreigners and their empty London flats.

We are selling the family silver, a shame on all of us.




Just simply raise the legal minimum wage to the London Living Wage - simples!!


Why can't it be compulsory for firms in London and other cities to have a living wage? I live in London and I work in London. I would like to be able to enjoy what London has to offer without the need to take out a mortgage in order to do so.


What about businesses in general that do not have shops etc. Why aren't they paying the living wage?

Talk London

Hi Anna2007,

Many businesses like this are. Here's a list (searchable by region, if you scroll down slightly):

Hope this helps,

Talk London Community Manager


I am a social care workers. There's no way that we will be paid anywhere near that amount. Social services have to set a realistic amount aside so the elderly and vulnerable get the professional care they deserve. I am NVQ level 3 with 9 years of experience. I love my job and hopefully make some people's lives a bit more enjoyable.


I am a social care worker. There's no way that we will be paid anywhere near that amount. Social services have to set a realistic amount aside so the elderly and vulnerable get the professional care they deserve. I am NVQ level 3 with 9 years of experience. I love my job and hopefully make some people's lives a bit more enjoyable.


Qu'est-ce qu'on peut faire?


bonne question.


In the news - Whistl (was TNT) is shutting down the part of its operation that delivers mail through letterboxes (it will take mail to Royal Mail sorting offices instead). While it is sad that 2000 people might lose their jobs, I really hated receiving mail via Whistl because (a) they employ staff on zero hours contracts, and (b) they have proved in the last few years to be completely incapable of delivering mail within reasonable time of its being sent out. A lot of the Whistl delivered mail I receive is junk mail, catalogues, etc. I was about to contact each of the companies sending me that mail, asking them to stop because of the use of zero hours contracts by Whistl.


It needs to be made compulsory not voluntary as employers will choose not to pay if they can avoid it

Will Victor

Thanks for all of your comments and ideas, we’ll make sure they’re all raised with the policy team here so they can take them into account in their work.

Thinking a bit more broadly about wealth distribution in London, how much of a problem do you think that is, and what kind of issues might it be causing for you, and others, in London?

The Talk London Team


I think if people organised themselves to boycott business that does not support the LLW then their would be real change quickly, also it should and could be an advertising mantra on their letterheads ( like gassafe corgi etc) people would soon get behind them- personally id sooner pay a few pence more for a cup of coffee if the employer supported LLW.


With reference to wealth distribution will victors comments- perhaps the GLA remuneration policy is something we should all get on top of first!


It would be useful to know the process by which accreditation is audited. I am aware of at least one company who promote themselves by stating they pay the LLW but never have for all employees.