Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs: Living Wage

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs written question – answered on 30th October 2019.

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Photo of Matthew Pennycook Matthew Pennycook Labour, Greenwich and Woolwich

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, how many staff in her Department are paid less than the London Living Wage; and what requirements her Department places on contractors to pay the London Living Wage to London-based staff.

Photo of George Eustice George Eustice The Minister of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

This Government is committed to paying people a decent living wage, which is being addressed through the statutory National Living Wage (NLW). In April 2019, the NLW increased to £8.21 per hour, handing a full-time worker a further £690 annual pay rise. By 2024 the NLW will rise to £10.50 per hour, reaching 66% of median UK earnings. The scope will be expanded to everyone aged 21 and over and is expected to benefit over 4 million low paid workers.

There are 85 staff in core-Defra, based in the National pay region, paid less than the London Living Wage (LLW) rate of £10.55 per hour, as set out by the Living Wage Foundation (LWF).

There are less than 5 staff based in the London pay region paid less than the LLW. There will be no staff based in the London pay region paid less than the LLW once the 2019 Defra pay award (effective from 1 July 2019) has been implemented. This is expected to be in November pay.

The Government will always award contracts on the basis of the best value for money for the taxpayer.

The service providers contracted to carry out third party cleaning contracts for Defra managed buildings, including those of our executive agencies, are provided through an outsourced Total Facilities Management contract with Interserve FM. The contract requires Interserve FM to pay all employees the living wage as defined by the LWF. The Facilities Management supplier holds information on the rate of remuneration of its staff. Members of the LWF pay the voluntary real living wage, which is higher than the statutory rate and includes a higher rate for London based staff.

The LWF rates (published online) can be found on the link below:

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