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Kingston Council is celebrating becoming an accredited London Living Wage Employer by the Living Wage Foundation.

The announcement was made as part of Living Wage Week (11-17 November) an annual event raising awareness about the campaign for fair wages.

Employers choose to pay the Living Wage on a voluntary basis and the accreditation means that everyone working for the council, will receive the London Wage or London Living Wage (£9.30 per hour and £10.75).

The council will join over 4,700 organisations across the county already paying the Living Wage and will be supporting local businesses in the borough to become London Living Wage employers. The council will also be working with its contractors and providers to ensure its supply chain is compliant.   

Sarah Ireland, Director of Corporate and Commercial at Kingston Council, said:

“We are thrilled to have been accredited as a Living Wage employer which demonstrates our commitment to raising living standards. 

“Paying a Living Wage isn’t just beneficial to employees – it also benefits the employers themselves, as the evidence suggests it improves staff motivation and retention, and boosts an organisation’s reputation. I’d encourage any local employers not already paying their staff the Living Wage to join the scheme.”

Lucy Bannister, Programme Manager for the Living Wage Foundation, said:

“We’re delighted that Kingston Council has joined the movement of nearly 6,000 responsible employers across the UK who voluntarily commit to go further than the government minimum to make sure all their staff earn enough to live on. They join thousands of small businesses, as well as household names such as LUSH, Heathrow Airport, Barclays, West Ham Football Club and many more. 

They are now the 20th London borough to be an accredited Living Wage Employer and we welcome their commitment. Local authorities act as leaders with many local businesses normally following them and seeking accreditation, giving pay rises to many more workers. Paying the real Living Wage is the mark of a responsible employer and employers, like Kingston Council, believe that a hard day’s work deserves a fair day’s pay."

The real Living Wage higher than the Government set National Living wage is an independently calculated hourly rate of pay that is based on the actual cost of living. It is calculated yearly and announced by the Living Wage Foundation as part of Living Wage Week. 

The UK Living Wage Campaign was launched in 2001 by members of London Citizens. The founders were parents from London, who despite working two or more minimum wage jobs struggled financially and were left with no time for family and community life. Since its launch, the campaign has impacted tens of thousands of employees and put over £210 million into the pockets of some of the UK's lowest paid workers.

The Living Wage Foundation is the accrediting body who awards the Living Wage Employer Mark to Living Wage employers. They're committed to ensuring all employed staff, including contract workers, are paid the Living Wage by employers.

For more information on the Living Wage visit www.livingwage.org.uk