London Living Wage to rise to £7.85 an hour

The London Living Wage will rise by 25p to £7.85 per hour, London mayor Boris Johnson announced today.

The increase represents a 3.3 % improvement on last year’s figure and an overall increase of 17 % since the London Living Wage was introduced in 2005, at £6.70 per hour.

There is no legal requirement to pay the London Living Wage but the Greater London Authority (GLA) argues it makes business, as well as moral, sense.

Nearly 100 organisations have now signed up, including leading employers such as Barclays Bank, KPMG and HSBC, as well as several London boroughs. This year, four major employers – Deloitte, Nomura, Prudential and Standard Chartered – also joined the scheme.

In parallel with the wage rise, the GLA published the Living Wage Unit’s Sixth Annual Report, A Fairer London: The 2010 Living Wage in London.

The report shows that, in London, an hourly wage rate of 17% above the national minimum wage rate of £5.80 is needed to provide a reliable margin so the wage earner will not fall into poverty, even after benefits and tax credits are taken into account.

Johnson said: “The capital relies on the work of many who carry out the city’s essential functions on a daily basis [and] it is right their skills and commitment to London’s success are recognised, and one of the most fundamental ways of doing this is to ensure all Londoners are paid properly.

“That means receiving at least the London Living Wage, which is designed to combat poverty and also ensure people are better off in work than out of work.

“There are huge benefits to employers and society of implementing the London Living Wage, and today I urge all employers in the capital to follow the GLA’s lead and pay a fairer wage.”

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