As part of our ongoing Cost-of-Living campaign, we are speaking to our members who currently pay the London Living Wage in their business to learn what impact this has on their employees.
Why has your business chosen to be a London Living Wage (LLW) employer?
It’s a simple moral imperative, but it’s also a clear business driver.
London is a city of huge diversity coupled with significant financial inequality. We need to be able to employ people from across the full spectrum of our city and we can only do this if we pay everyone – employees and contractors — a fair wage, one that enables them to live in the city which we all enjoy and make such a huge contribution to.
What benefits has your business experienced, by being a LLW employer?
The benefit of being a LLW employer is of course felt by those we employ. With the commitment comes the opportunity for us as a company to be held accountable and be transparent about our business and the people we engage with to work with us. This also extends to the businesses working as subcontractors, giving us confidence that they too are paying their employees fairly.
What does the LLW accreditation mean to your employees?
The accreditation of LLW ultimately brings visibility to our commitment to ensuring that all those we work with are paid fairly. And through the Living Wage Foundation we are able to clearly monitor changes and share progress.
What does being a LLW employer mean to your clients?
We have been committed to the LLW for over three years and in that time the responsibility of companies and employers to promote and support a socially just, economically fair society is increasingly under the spotlight. Our clients are acutely aware of this and want the assurance that they are working with responsible employers, those that match their own ESG targets and aspirations.
What would you tell other businesses about your own experience paying the London Living Wage?
The LLW is an incredibly important commitment for all London businesses, particularly given the current cost of living crisis. We know that it isn’t difficult to commit to the LLW – it is simple, easy to apply and to monitor for any business — and any business and their employers will be proud of being part of an ever-increasing group of companies that are making a positive impact on people living in our city.
Andrew Thomas Grimshaw Managing Partner, London
Tell us about your business
Grimshaw is an international architectural and design practice delivering buildings, infrastructure and places that are underpinned by the principles of humane, enduring, sustainable design. With offices in London, New York, Los Angeles, Paris, Dubai, Melbourne and Sydney, Grimshaw employs over 500 staff. The practice’s international portfolio covers all major sectors and has been honoured with over 200 international design awards.
What does London mean to you?
London is the city where our practice was founded over 30 years ago and its where we’ve designed many buildings that help the city connect, its people thrive, and communities grow. It’s also an ever evolving and dynamic place, that enables us as a design practice to challenge and influence change, bringing innovation to the design and delivery of new environments that will enable a more resilient city. The exchange that is facilitated and encouraged in the city – through the GLA or the boroughs and other active groups and organisations – is critical. Without this diversity of people and voices the built environment won’t be fit for the needs of the future. London has always been shaped by its people and we need to continue to listen and maintain this within our city.
What do you think is the best thing about running a business in the capital?
London is an international city, which is invaluable for attracting investment to enable innovation and support regeneration. As an international practice with studios in eight cities across the world, one of the most salient benefits of running a business in the capital is the access to the very best talent to help drive the success of our business and the future of the industry.
How do you envision London in 10 years’ time?
There is no doubt that London faces challenges as a pre-eminent global city. However, with a clear understanding of its legacy and history, a commitment to meeting and then surpassing its broad sustainability obligations, and the support of its social and cultural communities, it will continue to thrive in 10 years’ time. The critical factor however for its ‘survival’ is its ability to drive forward change in response to the ever-present climate and biodiversity crisis we face. There is an opportunity for London to become a regenerative city, a model for living that connects us all to a circular economy and a more inclusive fair, and green, city.