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Friday, 28th February 2014

UK: Fair Pay: Making the London Living Wage the Norm

Source: London Assembly (UK)

From Executive Summary:

Low pay contributes to poverty in London. Low pay in the capital is concentrated in a number of sectors; retail, hospitality, catering, cleaning and social care are of particular concern. Indeed, the proportion of low- paid jobs in the social care sector, cleaning and hospitality sectors has risen significantly since 1997. Furthermore, workers in key low pay sectors are four times as likely to remain in low pay as comparable low- paid workers from other sectors...

The National Minimum Wage helps to prevent exploitation at the bottom of the labour market. There is currently a welcome debate, at both national and London levels, about whether the minimum wage can be significantly increased as the economy recovers. However, there is also growing concern that the minimum wage is not sufficiently enforced in the capital. We would therefore welcome piloting the partial devolution of minimum wage enforcement as an opportunity to address this deficit.

However, the National Minimum Wage remains unsustainably low against living costs in London. The minimum wage has been decreasing in real terms since 2007. The London Living Wage is calculated to reflect an adequate wage for London, which should be enough to cover the basic costs of living, reflecting London’s higher living costs...

Accredited Living Wage employers in London span the private, public and voluntary sectors. However, the number of workers included so far is just a small fraction of the estimated 750,000 Londoners earning less than the Living Wage.

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Having begun his career in academic libraries, Adrian Janes has subsequently worked extensively in public libraries, chiefly in enquiry work as an Information Services librarian. In this role he has had particular responsibility for information from both the UK Government and the European Union. He wrote a detailed report on sources for the latter which was published by FreePint in 2007, and has contributed articles to FreePint and ResourceShelf. He is involved in training in information literacy and the use of online reference resources.

A Contributing Editor to DocuTicker, he also write reviews for Pennyblackmusic.

Adrian can be reached at adrian.janes@freepint.com

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