The yearly increases on the minimum wage always come with an air of confrontation. As announced by the Low Pay Commission, 2011 will see an increase of 15p, raising the minimum wage to £6.08 per hour.
As stated on their report, “particular groups of workers (women, disabled people, ethnic minorities, migrants and those with no qualifications) are more likely to be in minimum wage jobs”. It is clear how this affects the cleaning industry directly, with 23% of its jobs in 2010 getting paid at the minimum rate (at that time £5.93), where most of their workers come from these particular groups.
London is another story. Although minimum wage jobs account for 2% of all jobs in London, the London Living Wage has been increased this year 45%, leaving it at £8.30 per hour. The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, considered this a positive move to reduce poverty levels in the capital. There are already more than 100 employers in London that have signed up to the London Living wage, a payment that it is consider the minimum to cover all needs of a worker.
The Living Wage Foundation, which has been battling to extend the London Living Wage to all employers across the capital, welcome this increase although considers there are still hundreds of thousands of Londoners in what it is called “working poverty”.
It is a delicate matter, specially on this current climate of uncertainty that our economy is going through. If you are interested in getting more information, here is the link to the Low Pay Commission report http://www.lowpay.gov.uk/lowpay/report/pdf/Revised_Report_PDF_with_April_date.PDF
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