Set independently and updated annually, the Living Wage is an hourly rate calculated according to the basic cost of living. In London, that rate is currently £9.40 per hour, set by the Greater London Authority. The decision to commit to this minimum rate is taken voluntarily by employers who wish to ensure that all of their staff enjoy a decent standard of living. Unlike the statutory minimum wage, which covers the whole country contains various different bands, the London Living Wage is based squarely upon the realities of living in London and is applied equally to all staff over the age of 18.
For Borough Market, adopting the Living Wage is part of a wider commitment to sustainability. “Borough Market strongly advocates a more sustainable approach to food production,” said Donald Hyslop, chair of the Trustees of Borough Market. “That means looking closely at things like farming methods, animal welfare and waste disposal—but it’s also about valuing people. For a business to be truly sustainable, it is imperative that it respects and nurtures the talents of its staff, and one of the key elements of that is paying them a fair wage. As trustees, we are responsible for ensuring that this historic Market continues to thrive long into the future, and we believe that this accreditation is an important step ”
Borough Market is now actively encouraging its traders to sign up to the scheme. Cannon & Cannon, the British charcuterie company based within the Market, was accredited earlier this year, and others are expected to follow. “When considering applications for new traders and tenants, we place a great deal of weight upon their environmental and social impact,” said Donald. “How they treat their staff is an important part of that picture.”
Living Wage Foundation director Katherine Chapman said: “We are delighted to welcome Borough Market to the Living Wage movement as an accredited employer. The best employers are voluntarily signing up to pay the Living Wage now. The Living Wage is a robust calculation that reflects the real cost of living, rewarding a hard day’s work with a fair day’s pay.”