London Living Wage: Does your south west borough pay it?

Analysis of data from the Office of National Statistics. Originally published in South West Londoner in January 2020.

Nearly 45% of workers in Sutton earn below London Living Wage, the highest percentage of employees earning below the recommended hourly rate in south west London.

According to data from the Office of National Statistics, the three south west London boroughs that ranked lowest for paying workers London Living Wage between 2014 and 2018 were Sutton, Croydon and Lambeth.

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In Sutton, an average of 26,200 people were paid below London Living Wage.

Some 29,000 people earned below that figure in 2018 making up 44.1% of the borough’s population – a growth of 4.9% since 2017. 

During this time, the London Living Wage rose from £9.75 per hour to £10.20 per hour, the biggest increase in this period.

Between 2014 and 2017, the average inflation was £0.32 per hour each year.

In all south west London boroughs, the number of workers paid below the London Living Wage increased from 2017 to 2018. 

Meanwhile, the three boroughs that were best for meeting the London Living Wage were Richmond, Merton and Hammersmith & Fulham.

In Richmond, an average of 13,800 people were paid below the London Living Wage between 2014 and 2018, with 15,000 people earning below that figure in 2018 (23.4%).

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Living wage is higher than minimum wage and it is optional for employers to pay it.

According to London City Hall: “It is calculated independently to reflect the high cost of living in the capital, giving a worker in London and their family enough to afford the essentials and to save.”

Featured image: Howard Lake via Flickr

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