Islington seeks to increase 'living wage' employers by a third

Dionne Brooks was one of many to benefit from the London Living Wage when she joined Islington Council

Dionne Brooks was one of many to benefit from the London Living Wage when she joined Islington Council - Credit: Islington Council

An alliance of prominent employers in Islington is launching an action plan to make it the first “living wage borough” in north London and increase jobs paying a fairer wage. 

The group of 17 public, voluntary and private sector employers has committed to ambitious plans to double the number of living wage accredited employers and workers over the next three years. 

This will result in 3,000 more workers in Islington receiving the London Living Wage of £10.85 an hour by 2024.

Cllr Shaikh, front right, with members of Islington's Living Wage Action Group

Cllr Shaikh, front right, with members of Islington's Living Wage Action Group - Credit: Islington Council

The group behind the plan includes Islington Council, Whittington Health, architect firms BDP and AHHM, and City and London Metropolitan Universities.  

The living wage is the UK’s only wage rate based on the cost of living, which sees accredited employers commit to paying workers a minimum of £10.85 in London, and £9.50 outside, to help cover their everyday needs.


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There are now 221 living wage employers in Islington, but there are still 21,000 jobs in the borough that pay below the benchmark. 

Cllr Asima Shaikh, Islington Council’s lead for employment, said: “We were the UK’s first local authority (to commit to the living wage), and this is an important next step in our journey to bring the huge benefits of the London living wage to Islington’s workers and employers alike. 

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“We are determined to make Islington fairer, and to create a place where everyone has the same opportunity to reach their potential and enjoy a good quality of life.”

The council has committed to paying its staff, apprentices and contractors at least the London living wage since 2012, and cleaner Dionne Brooks has noticed the difference that being paid a fairer wage can make.

She said: “London is an expensive place to live and it can be difficult to make ends meet, especially with a family. 

"Working with the council made a huge difference to me. When you finish a day’s work and feel you’ve earned a proper wage, you want to go the extra mile and do the best you can.”


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