Mayor Boris Johnson today announced an increase in the London Living Wage (LLW) from £8.55 per hour to £8.80 per hour.
The LLW is the amount is it determined employees need to earn in order to cover their basic cost of living in London. It is an hourly rate that is independently calculated by the Greater London Authority’s (GLA’s) Living Wage Unit, with cross-party support. The LLW is updated on a yearly basis by first finding a ‘poverty threshold wage’ and then adding a 15 percent margin to ensure that the recipients do not fall to the level of poverty wages.
Paying this amount is not mandatory for employers, and they have to voluntarily opt-in to the scheme. A total of 432 employers are now signed up to the campaign, up from 78 this time last year. Together they employ more than 250,000 workers and have committed to rolling out the living wage.
Whilst the LLW has increased to £8.80 per hour, the legal minimum wage across the country is currently only £6.31 per hour.
“I am pleased that the Mayor has today announced an increase of 25 pence to the London Living Wage. However, what it does show is that it is becoming more and more expensive for people to just cover their basic living costs in the capital, and that the divide between the rich and the poor is continuing to widen.
While the London Living Wage is a step in the right direction it should be mandatory for employers to pay this to their employees and not voluntary. It is clear that someone earning the legal minimum wage of £6.31 per hour is going to struggle to make ends meet in the capital and the London Living Wage should be applied across the board.
I am a strong believer that an honest day’s work should be rewarded with an honest day’s wage and working people should not be struggling just to feed and home themselves and their families. I commend the Living Wage Foundation for all the hard work they have done raising awareness of this issue, and I hope that this increase will be enough to help people meet their living costs and improve the quality of their lives.”