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. Today, we speak to the New West End Company.
Why has your business chosen to be a London living wage (llw) employer?
As a Business Improvement District representing over 600 occupier and owner businesses in London’s West End, it was important for us to become accredited as a London Living Wage (LLW) accredited employer ourselves to demonstrate our commitment to fair wages and social sustainability before we could open up a dialogue with our members.
We did not know whether all our colleagues and contractors were being paid above the LLW until we decided to pursue the accreditation. To our delight, we realised that NWEC had already been paying the London Living Wage for all employees and contractors which we would not have known, had we not decided to obtain the accreditation.
What does the llw accreditation mean to your employees?
Obtaining the LLW accredited employer status has helped our whole team feel a sense of pride in working for a business which values not only its employees but also our third-party contracted staff members. It has also given us an added boost of confidence for when we meet with our members knowing that we can start conversations about the LLW with credibility.
Our accredited status has also opened up a dialogue around fair wages within our business and externally, helping us to create a culture of ethical thinking and action.
What does being a llw employer mean to your members and partners?
Some of our own NWEC members already pay the London Living Wage but are not accredited employers yet. Given the size of our members’ brands, undertaking the accreditation is seen as a daunting task so it has been really helpful for us to undertake the exercise ourselves to be able to share our experience and provide support for our members in their LLW journey.
What would you tell other businesses about your own experience paying the London living wage?
We are incredibly proud to be paying the London Living Wage to all our employees and contractors. Having gone through the process of accreditation, we would encourage other businesses to explore it for themselves and make clear their commitment to paying fair wages – they might already be doing it!
Tell us about your business
New West End Company is a partnership of 600 retail, restaurant, hotel and property owners across the world’s top shopping and leisure destination anchored by Bond Street, Oxford Street, Regent Street & Mayfair.
We work in partnership with our members and other stakeholders at a local and national level to deliver transformational projects, sustainable place management, destination marketing, advocacy, inward investment, and commercial insights.
What does London mean to you?
London, and particularly the West End, represents opportunity and innovation, against the backdrop of a rich history.
As a BID in the centre of London, we thrive on this energy and continue to work towards creating a West End which meets the needs all our stakeholder groups and our natural environment.
How do you envision London in 10 years’ time?
London will continue to be seen as truly global city, with innovative approaches to climate action and greening initiatives, including more sustainable transport options, green spaces, and investments into mitigation and adaptation measures against extreme weather events. This will lead to a Central London with improved public spaces and a built environment which enhances and nurtures the well-being of its citizens, workers, and visitors.