Posters encouraging City financial and professional services firms to pay the London Living Wage will be displayed on the London Underground this week.
The initiative, run by the City of London Corporation and backed by the Living Wage Foundation, will see the posters rolled out across nine of the capital’s busiest tube stations, including Liverpool Street, Euston, Victoria and Paddington.
The two-week campaign, which includes social media, newspaper advertising and direct discussions with City businesses, will reach thousands of companies and workers.
There are 273,000 jobs in financial and professional services in the City and 9,490 financial and professional services firms. So far, more than 100 of these City businesses have signed up to pay the London Living Wage.
One in five people employed in the capital still don’t earn a wage they can live on.
The campaign will be officially launched on 25 February at the Museum of London, where City businesses, MPs, and councillors will join Ambassadors from City firms paying the London Living Wage to start the initiative. The campaign is expected to reach more than 1.3m people.
Research by the Living Wage Foundation shows that 93% of university students want to work for a Living Wage employer, and 86% of companies paying the Living Wage say it has improved the reputation of their business.
Catherine McGuinness, policy chair at the City of London Corporation, which is an accredited Living Wage employer said, “One in five people employed in the capital don’t earn a wage they can live on. I’m calling on City firms to help consign this statistic to the history books.
“Our people are our City and they are the best investment we will ever make. More than 100 City financial and professional services businesses are paying the London Living Wage, but I know more can join them.
“Paying the London Living Wage is good for business and good for society. But most importantly, it means a better quality of life, help for people to provide for themselves and their families, and giving employees a dignified life.”
Lola McEvoy, head of campaigns at the Living Wage Foundation said, “The City of London Corporation is leading the way as an anchor of responsible pay in the Square Mile. But many financial services firms still don’t pay their security staff and cleaners enough to live on, and we know much more can be done.
“We believe this campaign can encourage more employers within the City to recognise that paying the London Living Wage is both good for their business, and the right thing to do.”
Stuart Wright, property and facilities director for Aviva, which has been a Living Wage Employer since 2006, and Chair of the Living Wage Foundation said, “We have paid our London-based employees at least the London Living Wage since 2006 and we know the difference it can make to their lives. And it’s not just about money.
“People who receive the Living Wage feel valued for their contribution. This in turn creates pride amongst workers and aids retention and recruitment for employers, so it makes sound business sense too.
“Now all of our UK employees, including those from third-party suppliers who work on Aviva sites, are paid at least the Living Wage.
“If any London employer is considering paying the Living Wage, we’d urge them to stop thinking and start doing.”
There are commercial and social benefits to paying the London Living Wage, such as staff retention, improved productivity with staff feeling more valued and improved reputation for the business.
The London Living Wage gives workers a greater chance of fulfilling their potential within a single job, of accessing education and training in their spare time, and consequently, the ability to achieve upward mobility.
The City of London Corporation is a long-running supporter of the Living Wage Foundation. It has been an accredited Living Wage employer since 2014, meaning a significant increase in wages for some of its lowest-paid employees.
And from this year the City Corporation will strengthen its own Living Wage policy by paying its own staff and its suppliers’ staff the new rate, with immediate effect, when the updated Living Wage is announced in November each year. This is opposed to paying staff the new rate from April the following year, which is the most common approach taken by employers – meaning annual increases in the rate reach people’s pay packets more quickly.
The City Corporation already pays its Interns, work experience placements over two weeks and apprentices working in the capital the London Living Wage as a minimum.