London Living Wage rises to £9.15-an-hour

Mayor Boris Johnson announced the new London Living Wage at a coffee shop

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The Independent Online

Thousands of workers will be given a 35p-per-hour pay increase as the London Living Wage rises to £9.15 per hour, mayor Boris Johnson announced today.

Workers, whose employers voluntarily agree to the London Living Wage, will have their hourly wages rise from £8.80 an hour by four per cent within the next six months.

The mayor added that more than a fifth of working Londoners earned less than the new rate last year and encouraged businesses in the hospitality and retail sectors to sign up to the scheme when he visited Kaffeine today, the first London coffee shop to become accredited.

He said: "It is a win-win scenario for the workforce and employers alike.

"Importantly, this isn't just about economic dividends, but the immeasurable improvement to quality of life and workplace morale.

"In excess of 400 businesses have made the commitment, but we need even more converts, particularly in the retail and hospitality sectors. I hope that even more organisations this year will decide to do the right thing."

In London, only 434 companies and organisations have signed up to the scheme including Transport for London, Amnesty International, single parent charity Gingerbread and the Diocese of London.

This follows the announcement today that the national Living Wage has increased by 20p from £7.65 to £7.85-per-hour, which will benefit around 35,000 low-paid workers.

Currently, more than 1,000 employers adhere to the voluntary Living Wage scheme nationwide and groups include banks, media companies, religious organisations and housing associations.

 

The change was made after a study had revealed that 5.2 million people, 22 per cent of the workforce, are paid less than the Living Wage and struggle to keep up with rising living costs and inflation.

Wages are rising by 0.9 per cent per year on average while inflation, which raises costs of essentials such as food and fuel, has been at 1.2 per cent since September, according to the Consumer Price Index.

The rise in the Living Wage is also said to take the strain off the welfare system as employees will be less likely to rely on their income being supplemented by housing and support benefits.

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