Local NHS trusts are aiming to lift thousands out of poverty by getting London Living Wage status with support from Lambeth Labour.
The four trusts – King’s College Hospital, Guy’s and St Thomas’s, St George’s and South London and the Maudsley – are easily the area’s biggest employers with over 40,000 workers between them.
Following meetings with Lambeth Council’s Cabinet Member for Health and Adult Social Care, Cllr Ed Davie, all of those NHS trusts have agreed to aim to pay all staff and those they contract at least £10.55 an hour.
As a result Cllr Davie organised a Town Hall workshop on 24 May 2019 with the Living Wage Foundation, council officers and the trusts to support them gain accreditation.
About a third of Lambeth’s children are growing up in poverty, and in-work poverty has become an increasing problem with one in five Lambeth residents earning less than the London Living Wage rate.
Labour controlled Lambeth Council was one of the first councils in the UK to pay the London Living Wage in 2014. It is also now a requirement for organisations that receive council grants or that rent commercial property from the council to pay the London Living Wage. Last month, Lambeth council delivered the first Living Wage building in the UK at International House, a former council office building, which is home to a range of organisations who will all pay workers and contractors at least the London Living Wage.
Cllr Ed Davie said: ‘Poverty makes people ill and so it was natural that we ask and support our NHS partners, the biggest employers in Lambeth, to get London Living Wage accredited and potentially lift thousands of our residents out of poverty.
‘Our brilliant NHS has responded positively and we are delighted to help them achieve this important goal.
‘We will be working to make sure that even more Lambeth residents get the benefit of fairly paid jobs and business opportunities created by our huge local bodies like hospitals, universities, arts and sports venues.’
The workshop was facilitated by the Living Wage Foundation. To share best practice and experience about accreditation, the workshop included representatives from the council’s own employment team and the two NHS Trusts, Great Ormond Street Hospital and University College London Hospital, which are accredited with the London Living Wage Foundation.