A view from the road of Wood Green Shopping Centre in Haringey, London, on a sunny day with a clear sky.

Haringey ranks as first local authority for low-paid jobs in the UK

A third of workers in Haringey are in low-paid jobs, more than double the rates of London and the UK.

Haringey is the local authority with the most jobs paid below the real Living Wage (32.7%), followed by Brent (29.5%), Waltham Forest (28.8%), Bexley (28.5%) and Redbridge (28.2%), a new report by the Living Wage Foundation revealed.

The figures differ significantly from those recorded across London (13.3%) and nationally (12.9%), which the report called “low by historical standards”.

Revd Dr Simon Woodman, one of the leaders of national campaign group Citizens UK, said: “It is a matter of shame that London, one of the world’s greatest cities, has the top five local authorities in the country with the highest proportion of low-paid jobs: nearly a third of people in these areas are living on the edge of poverty.”

Outer London boroughs made up 12 of the 25 local authorities with the lowest-paid jobs.

This is largely due to the areas experiencing the capital’s higher living costs without the comparatively high salaries of inner boroughs.

Revd Dr Woodman said: “It’s time to change this, and employers can act decisively by leading the way in becoming accredited as Living Wage employers, as we work together towards making London a Living Wage city and banish the scourge of low pay to the pages of history.”

The report, based on ONS data, was published by the Living Wage Foundation, a Citizen UK charity campaigning for better wages.

Currently 3,500 London-based employers have pledged to pay their workers the real Living Wage calculated by the Foundation based on the cost of living.

The real Living Wage was £10.90 in the UK and £11.95 in London in April 2023, when the data was collected.

It has since gone up to £12 nationally and £13.15 in the capital.

The report also pointed at a converging trend between the real Living Wage and the UK minimum wage, which raised from £9.50 to £10.42 between 2022 and 2023.

However, the lack of a London weighting in the national minimum wage contributes to the impoverishment of workers in the capital.

Citizens UK leader Gina Rodriguez said: “With the cost of living crisis, too many low-paid workers are worrying about whether they can afford to turn the heating on during winter or if they’ll be able to afford groceries.

“This shouldn’t happen in one of the richest cities in the world.”

The London figures buck the national trend, which saw an overall decline in low-paid employment since 2018.

Although one in eight jobs in the UK are low-paid, the current rate is the second lowest ever recorded in 2023.

The lowest rate in the past decade was recorded in 2022, when it was 0.6% lower than current figures.

The sector with the highest rate of low-paid jobs is hospitality with 48.1%.

Low-paid workers are also more likely to be women (15.4%) and to work in part-time jobs (28.3%).

Featured image credit: Vicky Ayech / Shopping City, Wood Green / CC BY-SA 2.0

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