Lewisham businesses now paying thousands the London Living Wage

Good Food Catford. Pic: Lewisham Council

The number of London Living Wage employers in Lewisham has risen by 800 per cent since 2015.

New research released by the Living Wage Foundation shows that over 3,000 people in Lewisham work for London Living Wage employers, which rose to £10.20 per hour last week.

This is despite the fact that, one average, one in five are UK employees still earn below the living wage, 62 per cent of which are women.

Lewisham Council became the joint first Living Wage accredited council in England in March 2012 and in the last five years, 45 employers in the borough have also been accredited.

United Kingdom living wage statistics. Pic: London Living Wage Foundation

Good Food Catford in Sandhurst Parade became an accredited employer in 2016. Vicki Skingley, the owner of the store, said: “When you treat people respectfully you get the best out of them as an employer. I’ve got some great people working for me and the living wage really helps me to retain and motivate them. The London Living Wage plays a large part in making them feel valued and a part of the businesses success.”

As an incentive to become accredited this year, by The Living Wage Foundation, Lewisham council offers a discount to businesses, which can be up to £5,000 on their business rates. Lewisham is one of the few boroughs to offer an incentive like this, along with Greenwich, Ealing and Brent.

Councillor Joe Dromey, Cabinet Member for Policy and Performance, said: “It’s great to see nearly 50 Lewisham employers agreeing to pay their staff a London Living Wage. That means over 3,000 people in Lewisham now work for organisations who pay the London Living Wage. But we want to see far more and I urge every employer in Lewisham to do the right thing and to pay their staff at least the London Living Wage.”

Other accredited London Living Wage employers include, Amersham Vale Practice, Goldsmiths, University of London, as well as the Students’ Union, and TACT, a fostering and adoption charity.

The London Living Wage is an hourly rate that is independently set by the Greater London Authority. The rate is updated each year and calculated according to the basic cost of living in London.

The number of London businesses paying the wage has increased by 50 per cent since Sadiq Khan became Mayor in 2016.

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