The number of employers in Ealing paying the London Living Wage in the borough has risen to 58 from 45 in November 2022 and just 14 in 2016.
The increase follows Ealing Council’s announcement last winter that it is aiming to make Ealing a “Living Wage place” by requiring that any business who wishes to work with the Council and employs staff on contracts with the Council pays at least the London Living Wage which is £11.95 an hour.
It is also now 10 years since Ealing Council itself committed to paying its own directly employed staff the Living Wage.
At an event to mark the increase and announce details of the Ealing Council incentives package for employers to pay Living Wage, employers as well as campaigning organisers come together.
Campaigner Jose Mendes a member of St Anselm’s Church Southall and Ealing Citizens said: “There are people in my church who have to think twice about buying a pair of shoes. This is why I have been campaigning for the living wage with Ealing Citizens for 10 years, getting employers like Heathrow Airport to raise the pay of 3500 workers. We are delighted to be working in partnership with Ealing Council and local businesses, for Ealing to become a place where everyone earns a decent living wage.’
The move to £11.95 an hour comes as a requirement from May 2023 as previously it was £11.05 to be accredited with Living Wage status.
It is now a decade since Ealing Council become a Living Wage employer for its own employed staff. Over recent years, this become an issue when it was discovered that despite working for the council, Ealing school dinner ladies and men were not getting a London Living Wage as they were indirectly employed.
Speaking to EALING.NEWS, Ealing Living Wage Alliance founder Michael Milne welcomed some progress being made but said some of the leading educational institutions are not stepping up: “Of course, any increase in Living Wage accredited employers is good news for Ealing constituents. However, progress is painfully slow and the Ealing Labour manifesto target of 200 seems remote. ELWA are concerned Ealing Councillors are not putting their shoulders to this issue. Convincing key anchor institutions such as University of West London and North West London NHS Trust to set an example would encourage accreditation.”
Mr Milne added: “Alas many Church of England and Catholic schools, both independent and maintained, also remain stubbornly resistant to accreditation despite the 2014 pledge to pay school key workers a decent living income. Its difficult to persuade smaller businesses to accredit when our local major institutions and faith schools stubbornly ignore their moral obligations.”
Ealing Council has previously embarked in Living Wage initiatives. In 2016, Councillor Peter Mason, now leader of Ealing Council was Living Wage Champion as part of his cabinet responsibilities and the total number of employers singed up was 14.
An Ealing Council spokesperson previously told EALING.NEWS: “In 2016, there were 14 businesses, and this number has more than tripled to 45 Real Living Wage compliant businesses in the borough. The Council aspires to reach the target of 200 by 2025. To encourage more Ealing employers to pay the Real Living Wage, the council offers a business rate discount of up to £2,000 to those that become a living wage accredited.””
They added: “As part of our plan for Good Jobs, the council has made it a priority to increase Living Wage Employers in Ealing to 200.”