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London city hall must ‘lead by example’ on living wage

The London mayor has pledged that under his leadership, the capital’s City Hall and other mayoral bodies will ensure that all staff are paid the London living wage.

Sadiq Khan said he was issuing the order after being informed by trade unions that 18 contracted cleaning and security staff at the London Transport Museum, which is run by Transport for London (TfL), were earning below the living wage.

The mayor said he had now ensured that the employees’ wages will be increased and instructed his eight deputy mayors and senior officials to conduct an audit of City Hall and mayoral bodies to find other bad employment practices, including staff being paid below the London Living Wage.

Khan, who was elected as the city’s first Labour mayor in eight years in May, said: “I am determined to create a fairer and more equal city where all employees are paid a decent wage. That means City Hall and the mayoral bodies simply have to lead by example.”

A TfL spokesperson said: “We have taken immediate steps to ensure that all staff employed by sub-contractors to the London Transport Museum are paid the London Living Wage.”

Khan also recently instructed TfL to ensure that affordable housing is built on land near Kidbrooke station when it is sold, prompting accusations from the Conservatives that he was ‘bankrupting’ the transport authority.

The mayor now holds regular discussions with trade union representatives in a bid to build a constructive relationship.

The mandatory national living wage, introduced in April, is currently set at £7.20 an hour for workers over 25.

However, Khan backs the London Living Wage, a voluntary rate which reflects the higher cost of living in the capital. It is currently £9.40 an hour, and the mayor is expected to announce a higher rate for 2017 on 31 October. He also urged other London employers to adopt the measure.

(Image c. Jonathan Brady from PA Wire/ Press Association Images)

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