Seminar: Tackling Low Pay in London

Over the last 10 years, London’s predominant poverty demographic has shifted from workless to working: there are now over 1.1 million people living in low-income households where at least one adult is working.

The London Living Wage is gaining acceptance as a way to tackle the problem of low incomes, functioning as both a campaign tool and a calculated minimum salary matched against the Capital’s cost of living. In 2013, just over 200 organisations from the private, public and third sectors – including eight London boroughs – were accredited living wage providers, with many more in the process of accrediting.  While there is evidence that being paid a living wage increases productivity and well-being, as well as providing government with additional tax revenue, issues such as welfare reform, EU procurement rules and pay structures in low-income sectors create a difficult landscape to challenge.

Tackling low pay in London will present pan-London and local approaches to addressing London’s in-work poverty, from increasing pay standards through the London Living Wage and public sector procurement, to facilitating the movement into higher-paid roles through pay staircasing and skills provision.

The seminar will address some of the key questions facing local authorities and housing associations seeking to raise pay and conditions for their clients:

  • Is the Living Wage the best approach to tackling low pay in London, or are its challenges too entrenched?
  • How can the Social Value Act contribute to tackling low pay through public sector procurement?
  • What can employers do to improve pay standards in sectors where the Living Wage is not currently a viable option?

Confirmed speakers include:

  • Sara Turnbull, Chief Executive, Bootstrap Co. (Chair)
  • Jonathan Hoffman, Economist, GLA Economics Intelligence Unit
  • Kathryn Ray, Senior Researcher, The Work Foundation
  • Sarah Ireland, Director for Strategy, Commissioning, Procurement and Performance, LB Croydon

Tackling low pay in London will take place from 8.00-10.30am on Thursday, 16th October 2014, and is kindly hosted by Arup at their offices at 8 Fitzroy Street, London W1T 4BQ (map).

This event is free to attend, but space is limited and registration is required. To register your interest, please email If you have secured a spot, you will receive a confirmation email.