Newham Council has been officially recognised as a Living Wage employer for the first time and said it will require all contractors to pay the minimum set income from now on.

The town hall was awarded the accreditation by the Living Wage Foundation after vowing to pay all its staff at least £10.85 an hour.

The rate is higher than the government’s minimum wage for over 25s, which stands at £8.72 per hour.

It is an amount calculated annually by the Resolution Foundation and overseen by the Living Wage Commission, based on how much it costs to live in the UK and London.

Last year Newham mayor Rokhsana Fiaz announced the council planned to pay all staff the Living Wage by February.

The local authority is the largest employer in the borough with 3,400 employees.

Announcing the accreditation on Monday, Ms Fiaz said: “A hard day’s work receives a fair day’s pay and such a level of pay has so many positive effects on staff wellbeing. With over a quarter of workers in Newham earning below the real Living Wage, the Covid-19 pandemic has highlighted the vital work of key workers and those delivering public services.

“Newham needs more businesses to follow the example of ourselves, Tate & Lyle Sugars, West Ham United, the Union Hand-Roasted Coffee Company and others to pay the Living Wage.

“Now that we’re accredited, we shall require at contract renewal stage that the Living Wage is paid by our suppliers to their own staff.”