The number of accredited living wage employers in Brent has reached a milestone of ten since Brent Council became the first authority in the UK to offer business rates discount incentives for accredited living wage employers in April this year.
One of the businesses, Granger Hertzog, has become the first Brent based Park Royal employer to receive accreditation.
Brent Council already pays all of its directly employed staff the living wage. But from 1st April Brent became the first authority to offer employers a one-off discount on their business rate equivalent to five times the cost of being accredited as a Living Wage Employer by the Living Wage Foundation. The cost of being accredited with the Living Wage Foundation varies depending on the size of workforce and the type of organisation but the maximum discount could be up to £5,000. In addition, living wage accredited businesses will be championed on the council’s website and receive a personal visit from a senior member of the council to officially recognise their accreditation as part of a wider package of incentives
It is estimated that around 30% of Brent residents are currently earning less than the living wage. The living wage is at present an informal benchmark based on the amount a person needs to earn to cover the basic costs of living. The new rate of £9.15 an hour in London and £7.85 an hour in the rest of the UK was announced in November last year. The national minimum wage, which is set by the chancellor, is significantly lower at £6.50 an hour for adults, and £5.13 for those aged 18 to 21.
Things are set to change following the Budget, with a fixed National Living Wage in place by 2020.
Councillor Roxanne Mashari, Cabinet Member for Employment and Skills at Brent Council, said: “We are committed to championing the living wage and tackling the root causes of poverty in our borough. We know that paying the living wage makes good business sense as it reduces absenteeism and boosts worker morale whilst helping to recruit and retain the best people. Brent’s business rate discount scheme for living wage employers gives businesses one more reason to make the step in becoming living wage accredited.
“In just a few months we have reached two significant milestones: we have ten living wage accredited employers and now our very first Park Royal business accreditation. Park Royal is a key strategic employment and business zone for Brent and for London and I hope many more employers will follow the excellent example of Granger Hertzog.”
Full list of accredited of Brent Living Wage accredited employers:
- Ark Academy
- Brent Council
- Egress Software Technologies
- Granger Hertzog
- Synergy Vision