Leisure centre workers in Tower Hamlets to be paid London Living Wage

PUBLISHED: 09:57 02 July 2018 | UPDATED: 09:57 02 July 2018

Onay Kasab from Unite labelled this a significant victory for young workers in Tower Hamlets. Picture: Andy Barnes

Onay Kasab from Unite labelled this a significant victory for young workers in Tower Hamlets. Picture: Andy Barnes


Workers at Greenwich Leisure Limited in Tower Hamlets will now be paid the London Living Wage, after it was found under 21s were only receiving £8.10 an hour.

At a cabinet meeting last week, mayor John Biggs announced that all workers for the ‘Better’ brand of leisure centres, pools and libraries will be receiving £10.20 an hour, backdated to April.

This will affect 30 18-20-year-olds across the borough.

Managing director of GLL, Mark Sesnan, said: “GLL is a social enterprise which means we share the benefits of our unique business model with staff and customers.

“We support payment of Living Wage in all our contracts and we are delighted that Tower Hamlets Council have agreed to bring this forward, benefitting even more young workers.”

Unite, the trade union which campaigned for the pay rise, called the change a “significant victory”.

Onay Kasab from Unite said: “We regard this as a significant victory in our campaign to achieve London Living Wage pay justice for young people employed in London boroughs by GLL.

“This is a great win for young workers. We made the point, again and again, that the high cost of living in London impacts on workers no matter what your age. There is no young person’s discount on food and rent – and so there should be no age discrimination on wages either.”

The council originally negotiated a pay rise from April 2019, but GLL committed to paying it from September. The council then agreed to backdate this to April 2018.

Councillor Amina Ali said: “As a council we pay the London Living Wage and made sure that the new contract with Greenwich Leisure extended this to their staff. This announcement means staff who serve our residents day in and day out who were missing out will get a pay rise.”

John Biggs said: “I’m pleased that following our discussions GLL have agreed to bring forward what our contract required. We are committed to paying the London Living Wage and this is a great outcome for the young people who will benefit.”

All future contracts with workers at GLL will ensure the London Living Wage is guaranteed.

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