As an accredited Living Wage employer for four years, the council is part of a movement of over 3,500 employers who voluntarily opt-in to paying the real Living Wage.
The council has committed to the increase, which is independently calculated to meet the cost of living, and will be introduced over the next six months.
The new London rate announced by the Living Wage Foundation, which will apply for all staff over 18 has increased to £10.20 per hour, while for the UK, rates have increased to £8.75.
The council continues to offer one-off payments for businesses who gain Living Wage accreditation through the Business Rate Discount scheme. The payment (maximum of £2000) is equivalent to two years of Living Wage accreditation fees to businesses who qualify and is also open to employers who are already accredited.
18 businesses in the borough currently have accreditation and the council wants to encourage more businesses to do the same.
Council leader, Julian Bell, said: “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 businesses have already come forward to be recognised which is not only good for local employees but good for our local economy too.”
“It’s fundamental for rates to continually rise as 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 and make Ealing a fairer place for our residents.
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 Ealing Council who are already Living Wage Employers and find out why it makes such good business sense.”
Director of the Living Wage Foundation, Katherine Chapman, said: “Year-on-year, we see organisations and businesses across the UK embracing the real Living Wage as they recognise that a fair day’s pay is not only the right thing to do but can improve the quality of staff’s work, reduce absenteeism and increase motivation and retention.”
“Monday’s increase acknowledges that the cost of living continues to rise for workers everywhere and the leadership shown by businesses who welcome this is a cause for celebration during Living Wage Week, sending a positive message to the business community to show what others can achieve.”
Businesses in Ealing who have Living Wage accreditation include EACH Counselling and Support, City Harvest, L'AQUILA IMPORTERS AND DISTRIBUTORS, PSL Leasing, Christ the Saviour PCC, Sprezzatura Limited, Twining Enterprise, Wood Grain Design, Weird Beard Brew Co, Wellworking Ltd, Pai Skincare, Creative Staging Ltd, Suzanne Lynch Design, Belazu Ingredient Company, Mind in Ealing & Hounslow Ltd, Proper Oils, Post and Packing (Acton) Ltd and PAG.
Businesses who wish to find out more about the council’s Business Rate Discount scheme should contact the council by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Go online for more information about Living Wage Week.