Over 200 businesses in Hackney paying the London Living Wage

An additional 55 Hackney employers have joined Hackney Council in paying the London Living Wage in the last year in a boost to Hackney employees during the cost of living crisis.

The increase – announced as part of Living Wage Week –  means 205 local businesses and organisations are now paying a living wage, currently set at £11.95 an hour.

This is calculated by the Living Wage Foundation based on what people need to live on, including the costs of fuel, energy, rent and food, all of which are currently increasing under the cost of living crisis.

Hackney Council, an accredited Living Wage employer, marked the occasion with Mayor of Hackney Philip Glanville; Cllr Carole Williams, Cabinet Member for Employment, Skills; and Human Resources and Cllr Rob Chapman, Cabinet Member for Finance lifting the Living Wage flag on the steps of Hackney Town Hall.

Accredited businesses - the number of which has increased by 36 percent this year in Hackney - will pay their employees a minimum extra 90p per hour from last year, the largest year-on-year rise since the Living Wage Foundation began. 

The London Living Wage rise is a small but welcome boost for employees facing increasing financial pressure due to the cost of living crisis, with the Council last week announcing a £5m support package to help residents through the winter.

Cllr Carole Williams, Cabinet Member for Employment, Skills and Human Resources

It’s inspiring to see another large increase in the number of Hackney businesses paying the London Living Wage. These are businesses and charities that are willing to try and support their employees even though the cost of doing business is increasing. 

Employees will of course benefit from the increase, but adopting the increased wage also benefits the employer. It demonstrates to workers that a business is a desirable place to work, which in turn attracts high quality staff and encourages loyalty. It’s important that we continue to uplift businesses that are prioritising their employees amidst the cost of living crisis.

Cllr Carole Williams, Cabinet Member for Employment, Skills and Human Resources

We have been a London Living Wage employer since February 2018. Social care workers are amongst the lowest paid in the workforce, despite the vital work they do to support people to live independently, and experience a good quality of life in the way that works for them. 

Care work is not easy. As an organisation, we wanted to value and recognise our staff, so we pay at least a London Living Wage so that they can afford to live locally. Staff well-being is a priority for us, and we know that paying a living wage makes a real difference to our staff.

When the London Living Wage increases, these additional costs are usually borne by the charity, because the payments we receive for our services do not automatically increase. This is a challenge for all charities, but we will continue to be a London Living Wage Employer because we believe it is the right thing to do.

Anna McEwen, CEO of Hackney-based charity Headway East London

With living costs rising so rapidly, millions are facing an awful “heat or eat” choice this winter- that’s why a real Living Wage is more vital than ever. Today’s new rates will provide hundreds of thousands of workers and their families with greater security and stability during these incredibly difficult times.

We are facing unprecedented challenges with the cost-of-living crisis, but businesses continue to step up and support workers by signing up to the Living Wage in record numbers. We know that the Living Wage is good for employers as well as workers, that’s why the real Living Wage must continue to be at the heart of solutions to tackle the cost-of-living crisis.

Katherine Chapman, Director of the Living Wage Foundation

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.

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