Redbridge Council says it has three years to get contractors up to London Living Wage after Vision staff ask where their pay increase is

Redbridge Council has three years to get contractors up to the London Living Wage. Picture: Ken Mear

Redbridge Council has three years to get contractors up to the London Living Wage. Picture: Ken Mears - Credit: Archant

A group of Vision staff claim they are paid below the London Living wage, despite Redbridge Council promising to up pay packets to meet the standard.

Back in November 2018, the local authority was officially accredited as a London Living Wage (LLW) employer at a ceremony in the Barbican Centre and pledged that all of its directly employed staff would be paid at least £10.55 per hour. 

This means that the lowest wage a full-time adult worker will receive is around £20,500 per year. 

However, anyone employed by the council's 100 plus contractors would not get the same privilege and their earnings would only be increased when the contractor's contract came up for renegotiation.

Vision, an independent charity which delivers culture and leisure services in Redbridge, had its contract renegotiated in June of this year, yet staff have not been given any rise in pay.

Vision employees have contacted the Recorder to ask where the rest of their money is.

"The leader of the council is not keeping his promises," said one employee.

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"He is shifting the goalposts and is all talk and no action."

Another employee added: "I am so disappointed. I really believed in him, but how can he sign up and then not follow through?

"Redbridge should not have accredited status."

Deputy leader Councillor Kam Rai, said Vision's contract was "varied" and not renegotiated in June and "nothing was put out to tender".

He also said the council has three years to make sure its contractors pay the LLW so companies have time to raise the money.

"It was an election commitment to extend the living wage to our contractors and we also invite other employers in the borough to do the same, so ensuring the cost of living in the capital is acknowledged and to help hundreds of our loaid residents," he said.  

"Committing to the LLW is the right thing to do but will take time to deliver with external partners.

"This is recognised by the living wage foundation and why organisations have three years to meet the conditions of the accreditation.

"These are challenging conversations as funding is tight but is something we want our partners to deliver over the next couple of years with our contractors.

"The easy solution for us would be to let contractors pay their staff what they want, but we believe the companies we contract with should also move towards paying the LLW and we will play our part in assisting them achieve this.

"Specifically, in regards to Vision we expect them to be in a position to pay the LLW during 2021."