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Council launches Living Wage business ambassador scheme

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Islington Council has announced a new business ambassador scheme to encourage more Islington employers to become accredited Living Wage employers.

The new scheme, announced during Living Wage Week, will recruit businesses in Islington who already pay the Living Wage to communicate the benefits to their peers.

Islington has 118 accredited Living Wage employers so far, one of the highest levels of any local authority area in the country. In order to drive this number up higher, the Council will appoint a Living Wage business champion to lead a peer-to-peer Living Wage drive in Islington’s private sector.

Cllr Asima Shaikh, Executive Member for Economic Development, says: “The Living Wage is good for businesses. It means higher staff morale, improved retention and lower rates of absence. We can help more local people if we have more accredited Living Wage employers in Islington. The Living Wage can mean quitting that second job, getting enough sleep and spending more time with your family.

"Encouraging employers to pay the Living Wage is just one of the ways we are working to tackle in-work poverty. By working with employers and encouraging them to be London Living Wage employers, Islington's economic growth can be inclusive so that all residents see the benefits.

“We are committed to creating a fairer borough for all, which cannot be achieved if local people do not earn a real Living Wage.”

Islington Council has been leading by example to encourage more employers to become accredited Living Wage employers. Five years ago, it became the UK’s first accredited Living Wage local authority, securing the Living Wage for all of its own staff and apprentices. It also has a Living Wage requirement built into its procurement processes, meaning 98 per cent of the Council’s contractors are paid at least the Living Wage.

During Living Wage Week this week, Islington Council became the UK’s first Living Wage landlord. It also announced plans to encourage other local grant-giving organisations to become Living Wage Friendly Funders, meaning they would require grantees to pay the Living Wage. 

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