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Making London a Living Wage City - two years on

London Living Wage 2021 Photo 3
London Living Wage 2021 Photo 3

Too many Londoners don’t earn enough to get by. More than half of all Londoners in poverty are in work. Two years ago we committed £4.8 million over four years to make London a Living Wage City. Here we look at some of the achievements to date.

What is the London Living Wage?

The ‘Making London a Living Wage City’ campaign aims to ensure that everybody is paid at least a real Living Wage – the only wage rate calculated based on the cost-of-living.

Our hope is that from our £4.8m committed in 2021, Londoners on the lowest incomes will see a combined additional £635m in their pockets.

What’s been achieved so far?

Since the launch of the campaign in September 2021, 1,296 organisations headquarted in London have been Living Wage accredited.

Together, these organisations employ more than 400,000 people. By committing to pay the Living Wage, more than 52,000 Londoners on the lowest incomes have received payrises.

The campaign has worked with some of London’s most well-known employers, such as Crystal Palace and the Museum of London.

From the ground-up

The Living Wage campaign was started in 2001 by the local community in East London to tackle the issue of low-pay. Although the campaign has grown hugely since then, it is still led by the community.

Since September 2021, more than 5,400 people have been involved in the campaign. The Living Wage Foundation also work with Londoners from the city’s most deprived communities to use their own voice to make change. Read Olawale’s story, who got involved in the campaign while working as a cleaner at London Stadium.

What’s next?

There’s still a long way to go. The latest data shows that 17% of Londoners in work are still low paid.

Proportion of London residents' jobs paid below London Living Wage by employment type (2005-2022)

The Making London a Living Wage Campaign will keep working to get some of London’s most iconic employers to pay the London Living Wage.

It will also be focusing on the sectors in which low-pay is most common. For example, research by the Living Wage Foundation found that the hospitality sector has the highest proportion of low-paid jobs in London – more than half of jobs being paid below the London Living Wage.

Following this analysis, new polling showed that a majority of Londoners would be willing to pay more at hospitality if it meant workers were paid a Living Wage.

With costs still high and millions struggling to make ends meet, this work is as important as ever.

What can I do?

I'm an individual

Get involved in your local community. Find out more on Citizens UK's website.

I'm an employer

You can make sure you’re paying at least the London Living Wage. Commit to become a Living Wage employer on the Living Wage Foundation's website.

Find out more about Making London a Living Wage City.