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Decent pay and conditions

We want more jobs in London to pay, as a minimum, the Real London Living Wage, and to come with dignified working conditions.

The problem we are trying to solve

Paid work is crucial to addressing poverty, but it is not a guaranteed way out. Pay below the real living wage, insecure conditions, and exploitation trap people in poverty. This can look like non-permanent work including casual, seasonal, fixed term or agency work, with volatile pay and/or hours (zero-hour contracts) hours, tied work visas or outsourcing through a chain of sub-contractors.

Employers are a key part of the problem and the solution, but our current systems of enforcement and public procurement do little to encourage good practice.

We want workers, regardless of their background or immigration status, to have the rights and means to influence the conditions that impact them and for good employers not to be undercut by rogue operators.

How change will happen

Change will need to be fought on multiple fronts by diverse coalitions. It will need effective campaigning by groups of workers, unions, NGOs, employers and investors working towards a common goal. Sometimes it will require working across other policy areas, such as immigration, modern slavery and business policy. It will also require sustaining pressure where changes have been won.

Campaigning will need to be focused, based on evidence and workers will need to be at its core. Change is likely to be incremental and will require the involvement of employers.

Work will be needed at both the national and local level. This means that the voice and experience of low paid workers in London will need to contribute towards research and campaigns that are both London and nationally focused.

What we will fund

We want to fund campaigns, organising, research and policy work that is focused on increasing jobs that provide decent pay and conditions in London.

Examples could include:

  • Worker-led campaigns and organising to build power and influence of workers with common experience of low pay or exploitative working conditions. The focus can be on changing employer practice, changing government procurement practices, tackling barriers to organising, challenging regulations that contribute to low pay or exploitation.
  • Campaigns to promote Living Wage and Living Hours, retain legal protections of workers’ rights in line with international standards or tackle barriers to access justice for low-paid workers. In particular, campaigns led by diverse coalitions including workers and employers.
  • Trialling new ways to achieve decent work, for example through legally enforceable agreements between workers and employers (such as “good work agreement” or worker driven social responsibility within supply chains)
  • Work to turn employers and investors into allies, for example through shareholder activism.
  • High-quality research from worker-led groups, academics, think-tanks or civil society organisations to provide evidence on the impact of low-pay and exploitative conditions on people, London’s economy and productivity, and to identify possible solutions.
  • Collaborations and communities of practice working to increase decent pay and conditions in London, including cross-sector collaborations.

What we're funding

Examples of work we've funded in this area.

Ready to apply for funding under this goal?