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Sadiq Khan: We will close London's ethnic pay gap

DETERMINED: Sadiq Khan wants fairer wages for London’s BAME workers

MAYOR OF London Sadiq Khan is calling for more businesses to sign up to pay the London Living Wage to help tackle in-work poverty and the ethnic pay gap in London. As he announced a landmark increase in the London Living Wage last week from £9.75 to £10.20 per hour, the Mayor also criticised the “shockingly and unacceptably large” ethnic pay gap.

Nearly 60 per cent of Londoners living in poverty are in working households, compared to less than a third of Londoners 20 years ago.

STANDARDS

The ethnic pay gap remains unacceptably high, with the median wage for white groups £16.23 per hour, compared to £13.46 per hour for all black, Asian, and minority ethnic (BAME) groups. Moreover, 46 per cent of Bangladeshi and Pakistani workers and 35 per cent of Black, African, Caribbean and Black British employees are paid less than the London Living Wage, compared to 19 per cent of White British in low-paid work.

As well as announcing the increased London Living Wage – a 4.6 per cent rise and the first time the wage has been more than £10 – the Mayor is also working towards launch- ing his Good Work Standard next year. With fair pay and the London Living Wage at its heart, the Good Work Standard will support employers to adopt best practice and achieve high standards in areas such as workplace diversity, flexible working, health and well- being, skills development and ensuring employees’ voices are heard.

Mayor Khan will work with major employers from all sec- tors, especially those with high standards, to support businesses and other employers who would like to develop them. He said: “I pledged to ensure the London Living Wage rises to beyond £10 and I am delighted that has been achieved. I am determined to make London a fairer and more equal city, and the news that more than 1,500 businesses are paying the wage is a good step towards achieving that. But we need to go further – and for many more businesses and or- ganisations to sign up."

“London is one of the most dynamic and prosperous economies in the world, but unfor- tunately this prosperity isn’t shared by all Londoners. In the capital today, more than two million people are struggling to make ends meet and the ethnic pay gap is shockingly and unacceptably large. I want to make sure that no one who goes to work every day should have to endure the indignity of poverty.

“Paying the London Living Wage is not only the action of a responsible organisation, but a successful one too. Many of the accredited employers I speak to tell me of the increased productivity and reduced staff turnover that they’ve experienced since signing up.

“The London Living Wage is a campaign which I am thrilled to be a part of and I whole- heartedly encourage more businesses across our great city to get involved.”

Katherine Chapman Direc- tor of the Living Wage Foundation said: “The new Living Wage rates announced today will bring relief for thousands of UK workers being squeezed by stagnant wages and rising inflation. It is thanks to the leadership of more than 3,600 employers across the UK who are committed to paying all staff, including cleaners and security staff, a real Living Wage.

"In-work poverty is today’s story. New figures show that 5.5 million people are still paid less than the real Living Wage – it’s fantastic that this year alone over a thousand more employers have chosen to go beyond the legal minimum and pay a real Living Wage, putting fairness and respect at the heart of their business.

“Great businesses know that, even during tough times, not only is fair pay the right thing to do but paying the real Living Wage brings big benefits. Nine out of ten accredited Living Wage employers report real benefits including improved retention, reputation, recruit- ment and staff motivation.”

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