150 Hackney businesses sign up to increased London Living Wage

Cabinet Member for Employment and Skills Cllr Carole Williams (L) with Hackney Foodbank's marketing and communications manager Shell Tran

It’s a new milestone for Hackney’s businesses with 150 employers now signed up to an increased London Living Wage, which was announced yesterday (Monday). 

The Living Wage Foundation calculates the living wage based on what people need to live on, including the costs of fuel, energy, rent and food.

Accredited businesses - the number of which has increased by almost 15per cent this year in Hackney - will pay their employees a minimum of £11.05 an hour after the new annual London Living Wage was announced to be increasing by 20p.

In celebration of the beginning of Living Wage Week (15-21 November) Hackney Council, an accredited Living Wage employer, has raised the Living Wage flag over Hackney Town Hall. 

Promotion of the scheme forms part of the Council's plan to rebuild a fairer economy in the wake of the pandemic – championing businesses that give back to the local community through local employment, apprenticeships, fair wages and other activities that bring social value.

Part of this work will see 360 cleaning, maintenance and parking enforcement staff transferred to Council employment by March next year, under a plan to bring in services from for-profit companies. 

Cllr Carole Williams, Cabinet Member for Employment, Skills and Human Resources, said: “In such a difficult year for Hackney businesses it is encouraging to see another increase in the number of accredited London Living Wage employers in the borough. 

“As well as clear benefits to the wellbeing of employees being paid the London Living Wage, accredited businesses can demonstrate they are an employer of choice, attracting high quality staff and retaining good staff members. It is crucial that we continue to play our part in championing London Living Wage employers who can help raise the standard of living in Hackney.”

Sue Bell, Chair of Trustees of London Living Wage employer Hackney Foodbank, said: “Recent developments such as the end of the £20 uplift to Universal Credit, the end of the furlough scheme, eviction notice periods returning to pre-Covid lengths and rising fuel prices have created a perfect storm of challenges for people in crisis or trapped in poverty whom Hackney Foodbank aim to support.

"So to see both an increase in the amount of the London Living Wage and an increase in the number of businesses in Hackney who have signed up to becoming accredited London Living Wage employers is a very welcome boost to our community.”

Hackney Council was formally accredited as a London Living Wage employer in 2016 by the Living Wage Foundation, cementing a long-standing commitment to pay the London Living Wage. 

That commitment means that everyone working for the Council, regardless of whether they are permanent employees, temporary staff, part-time or agency staff or apprentices over the age of 18, is guaranteed to receive at least the London Living Wage.

Katherine Chapman, Living Wage Foundation Director, said: “With living costs rising so rapidly, today’s new Living Wage rates will provide hundreds of thousands of workers and their families with greater security and stability. 

“For the past 20 years the Living Wage movement has shaped the debate on low pay, showing what is possible when responsible employers step up and provide a wage that delivers dignity. Despite this, there are still millions trapped in working poverty, struggling to keep their heads above water – and these are people working in jobs that kept society going during the pandemic like social care workers and cleaners. We know that the Living Wage is good for businesses as well as workers, and as we rebuild our economy post pandemic, the real Living Wage must be at its heart.”

For more information about the Living Wage Foundation, please visit www.livingwage.org.uk.