To coincide with Living Wage Week 2015, the British Chambers of Commerce has announced its status as a living wage employer*.
The leading business group has committed to paying all employees and third party contractors the London Living Wage rate of £9.15 an hour, which is set annually by the Living Wage Foundation and calculated by the Greater London Authority.
In his Budget speech in July 2015, the Chancellor, George Osborne, announced a compulsory National Living Wage at £7.20 an hour for over-25s from next year, which will rise to £9 an hour by 2020.
Commenting John Longworth, Director General of the British Chambers of Commerce said:
“We are proud to have secured accreditation for paying the London Living Wage - a voluntary wage set annually by the Living Wage Foundation and calculated by the GLA according to the cost of living.
“We applaud all those businesses that pay, or aspire to pay, their staff above the Living Wage. That includes the majority of Chamber of Commerce members, with 61% paying all staff at or above the Living Wage, and a further 20% paying most staff above the Living Wage.
“While Living Wage Week is a time for celebration, many in business will have concerns about the government’s decision to introduce big minimum wage rises branded as a ‘National Living Wage’.
“Businesses want reassurance from Government that in future they will follow an evidence based approach, in consultation with the independent Low Pay Commission, when setting wage rates. This would be better than setting an arbitrary figure, which does not account for the huge cost impacts on some firms that could put tens of thousands of jobs at risk.”