September 21 2014 Latest news:
Sophie Morton, Reporter
Friday, August 15, 2014
Newham residents are the lowest paid in London, new data has revealed.
The New Policy Institute has found that the number of workers below the threshold, who are classed as low paid, has risen across the capital from 12 per cent in 2009 to 21pc.
Newham tops the rankings with 37pc of its working residents earning less than the London Living Wage, which last year was set at £8.80 an hour.
In addition, 26pc of jobs located in the borough are below the threshold.
The statistics also reveal that across the capital, more than half of 16 to 24 year olds are considered to be low paid, and that those in the retail, hotel and restaurant sectors are most likely to be on low wages.
Mubin Haq from Trust for London, who commissioned the survey, said: “These new figures suggest that for many poorer Londoners, working hard is not lifting them out of poverty.
“This can and must change. Employers can do a number of things to help, such as redesigning jobs so workers have more responsibility, enabling greater productivity and allowing for increases in pay.
“Moreover, many employers can afford to pay at least a Living Wage of £8.80 an hour – by doing so they can reap the associated business benefits such as increased loyalty and lower staff leaving rates.”
Mayor of Newham Sir Robin Wales responded by saying: “Newham Council recognises how important it is to pay employees a living wage and all directly employed council staff are paid the London Living Wage, which is currently £8.80 an hour.
“We are extremely concerned about the number of people who are not being paid the National Minimum Wage of £6.31 and a survey of Newham residents has found that nearly one in five are earning less than this. This is frankly unacceptable.
“We are lobbying government to give local authorities like Newham the powers to enforce against employers who fail to pay their staff this statutory wage, which would prevent the exploitation of our residents and good businesses losing out to firms that undercut.
“We will be coming forward with firm proposals this Autumn on how councils across the country can implement tougher penalties against businesses that flout the law and take direct action to prevent local workers, that are often vulnerable, from being exploited.”