04 November 2016
The number of jobs classed as ‘low paid’ in London has doubled over the last ten years, analysis from the New Policy Institute has shown.
Around 720,000 roles paid below the London living wage of £9.75 per hour, accounting for one in five of all jobs in the capital, according to a report on the research by the Press Association.
In particular, wages for part-time jobs have seen a significant fall, with an increase in the number of these roles offering low pay of 43% since 2006.
The lowest paid sectors were retail and wholesale (which accounted for 27% of all low-paid jobs), and hotels and restaurants (which were responsible for a further fifth of all low-paid jobs).
The study, which was funded by charity Trust of London, also found that low paid work was more common in Outer London.
Child Poverty Action Group Chief Executive Alison Garnham was quoted by the news agency as saying: “If ever there were evidence that our capital city isn’t working for everyone, it’s in these findings on low pay.
“With a fifth of London jobs now low paid – most of them done by women – it’s little wonder that most children in poverty are now in working households.”
The Institute of Employment Rights has warned that a shift towards low-skilled and low-paid work is being driven by the weakening of employment law since the Thatcher government, creating an economy in which businesses compete largely on low prices rather than on the quality of their products and services.
As well as fueling Britain’s growing wage inequality – which is today the most severe in Europe – we argue that this economic model is damaging the nation’s productivity, causing us to fall behind major global competitors and thereby weakening our ability to recover from recession. Indeed, the productivity gap between the UK and the G7 average is now at is widest on record of 18%.
In our flagship publication the Manifesto for Labour Law, the Institute of Employment Rights sets out 25 recommendations for the reform of employment law designed to reverse the trend towards inequality, low pay and poor productivity. Our proposals, the overarching aim of which is to shift the focus of labour law from statutory minimums to collectively agreed wages and conditions, have been adopted by the Labour Party and have the support of 13 major UK trade unions as well as the TUC.