The discount is given to businesses who become accredited with the London Living Wage Foundation and agree to pay the London Living Wage as a minimum to their staff.
Announced as part of London Living Wage week (30 October to 5 November) the new rate of £9.75 an hour which is £2.55 more than the national statutory minimum wage recognises that there are far higher living costs in the capital, especially for housing and childcare, than in other parts of the country.
Ealing Council is offering the one-off payment - equivalent to two years of Living Wage accreditation fees to businesses who qualify. The cost of being accredited varies depending on the size of workforce and the type of organisation. The maximum discount available is £2,000 per business and it is open to employers who are already accredited, as well as employers who become accredited during the 2016/17 financial year.
The benefits of being a London Living Wage employer include retaining staff, ensuring business continuity, increasing productivity and reducing absenteeism.
More than 10 businesses are already set to benefit from the business rate discount, with more than 30 employers expressing their interest in gaining accreditation with the Living Wage Foundation since the council announced the scheme last year.
Leader of the council, Julian Bell said: “Poverty is a distressing reality for too many working families in Ealing, with living costs increasing while frozen wages fail to fill the gap. We are determined to ensure people get a helping hand out of poverty and make Ealing a fairer place for our residents.
“As a major employer we have committed to pay the London Living Wage to our own employees and want others to follow suit by offering this incentive to responsible businesses that provide decent pay to their staff. It is encouraging that so many businesses have already come forward to be recognised which is not only good for local employees but good for our local economy too.”
Councillor Peter Mason, cabinet member for prosperity, skills, employment and transformation, said: “The benefits of paying employees fair pay have been proven. In addition to boosting the reputation of the business, attracting customers and prospective staff, paying a fair wage also leads to more productive employees who take less time off for sickness and show a greater commitment to their employer.
“I would encourage businesses who are interested in gaining accreditation to speak with peers in Ealing who are already Living Wage Employers and find out why it makes such good business sense.”
Gregg Irwin, director of Weird Beard Brew Company, said: “Paying our staff the London living wage is not a difficult decision. Having lived in London for 20 years I understand how expensive all aspects of life are, in the capital, anything less than the London Living Wage would feel like exploitation to me.”
Businesses who wish to find out more about the council’s Business Rate Discount scheme should contact the council by emailing: email@example.com. While details on how to become accredited are available from the Living Wage Foundation .
Ealing Council will be flying the Living Wage flag over the Town Hall as part of London Living Wage week to celebrate being a Living Wage Employer.
Other employers in the borough who have Living Wage Foundation accreditation include Cromwell Clean Ltd, The Fresh Olive Company Ltd, Mind in Ealing & Hounslow Ltd, Twining Enterprise, Wood Grain Design, Wellworking Ltd, Creative Staging Ltd, Sprezzatura Limited, Pai Skincare, Suzanne Lynch Design, PAG, Post and Packing (Acton) Ltd.