London mayor Boris Johnson has called on all employers in the capital to pay their staff at least £7.45 an hour – but conceded he had a mountain to climb.
The London Living Wage (LLW) has been raised from £7.20 to £7.45 per hour, reflecting the rising cost of living in the capital. Johnson insisted that paying the new figure, almost £2 above the National Minimum Wage, made sound business sense as well as helping to eradicate poverty.
But he admitted that not all employers were convinced, and revealed that plans to stop hospitality firms being officially recommended unless they paid the LLW had been pulled when he realised there would be hardly any left to promote.
Speaking at the London Docklands headquarters of Barclays bank, Johnson said: “I look forward to the day when we can say that no Londoner is being paid anything less than the London Living Wage.
“This is not only morally right but also makes good business sense, contributing to better recruitment and retention of staff, higher productivity, and a more loyal workforce with high morale.”
However, asked about plans to encourage greater payment of the LLW among hotels and restaurants, Johnson admitted it was a hard job.
He said a scheme was considered where official tourism body Visit London would only recommend those companies who signed up to the LLW. But he added: “If you were to do that then I understand very few hotels would qualify for promotion, which would not be good for the industry.
“Instead, we are working with other businesses in the hospitality sector to help firms understand this is the way forward.”
Barclays confirmed today that it has increased its base pay rates from £7.50 to £7.73 per hour for its third-party employees working in Greater London. Up to 1,000 cleaning, mailroom, gym and catering employees working across 370 branches will benefit.
Haden Building Management, which supplies facilities services to the Metropolitan Police, will pay all 406 staff on that contract the new London Living Wage rate of £7.45 from November.