Over 100 Businesses Signed Up To The London Living Wage In Royal Greenwich
by our RBG Correspondent | Woolwich
One hundred and four businesses in Greenwich have achieved accreditation as Living Wage employers and have committed to paying their workers no less than £9.15 an hour. The local firms have all signed up to be Living Wage employers as part of a Royal Borough campaign urging local businesses to pay their staff a decent living wage.
In March last year, Royal Greenwich had three local firms who had signed up to be London Living Wage employers at the start of the drive led by the council. As an incentive, the council set up a business rate relief scheme to offset the costs of registering with the Living Wage Foundation – the organisation responsible for accrediting Living Wage employers. The discount covers five years’ worth of London Living Wage subscriptions.
The Royal Borough was accredited as a Living Wage employer in 2013 and launched its own Greenwich Living Wage Campaign early last year. The borough is home to just 2 per cent of London-based businesses but around a quarter of the new LLW accreditations for the capital come from Greenwich.
Last November, the borough’s campaign was recognised by the Living Wage Foundation and CitizensUK which campaigns for employers to pay the Living Wage. The council was also asked to produce a good practice guide that other boroughs can learn from.
Councillor Sizwe James (top right), the Royal Borough’s Cabinet Member for Transport, Economy and Smart Cities, said: “Tackling the issue of low pay is a key element of our anti-poverty strategy – and promoting a Living Wage is key to the council’s priorities of economic growth and job creation. It’s fantastic that 104 local businesses have joined our campaign and have committed to paying their staff a decent living wage while enjoying the benefits of a discount on their business rates. It also means we have exceeded our first campaign target of getting 100 businesses signed up and I urge other employers to think about following suit as making a commitment to be a LLW employer makes a real difference to business, local families and the wider community.”
Employers who have signed up say they have made savings, improved staff recruitment and retention, seen less absenteeism and increased productivity.
Caterer Lara Omoloja, who runs the Greenwich Pantry in Greenwich, said: “The Greenwich Pantry supports the Living Wage Foundation because the health and wealth of employees and their families depends on the ability to earn a wage that allows them to thrive. Becoming a part of this great work is fundamental to our success as a family oriented Greenwich based business doing our bit to encourage sustainable communities. We are particularly happy that it was a seamless process free from bureaucracy and the rate relief provided by the borough has made it even more worthwhile.”
To find out more about becoming a LLW employer visit: