Social enterprise company fails to pay workers in Tower Hamlets the London Living Wage

PUBLISHED: 19:00 15 May 2018

Unite regional officer Onay Kasab said young Londoners are being 'short changed' by GLL. Picture: Andy Barnes

Unite regional officer Onay Kasab said young Londoners are being 'short changed' by GLL. Picture: Andy Barnes


One of London’s biggest ‘social enterprise’ companies is not paying its employees the London Living Wage.

One of London’s biggest ‘social enterprise’ companies is not paying its employees the London Living Wage.

Trade union Unite claim people aged 18-20 in Tower Hamlets are being shortchanged by Greenwich Leisure Limited, which runs gyms, pools and libraries.

Councils are meant to insist that organisations with outsourcing contracts, like GLL, should pay £10.20 an hour if they have the LLW accreditation.

But Unite said only those on GLL contracts in Greenwich, Hackney and Islington are receiving this – those aged 18-20 working for GLL in Camden, Croydon, Ealing, Lambeth, Tower Hamlets and Waltham Forest are only paid £8.10.

Unite regional officer Onay Kasab said: “Unite’s investigations have exposed a running sore of a scandal that has deprived up to 1,000 people working on zero hour contracts hundreds of pounds in ‘lost’ wages.

“London is one of the world’s most expensive cities, yet GLL, that boasts it is a social enterprise organisation, is short changing young people. This must stop immediately.”

When GLL were contacted for comment, they said that Tower Hamlets Council did not require outsourced contracts to pay the LLW to their employees. A spokesman said: “Unite’s figures are inaccurate. GLL complies with the LLW accreditation criteria and pays it to everyone over the age of 18, where this has been contractually agreed with the local council.

“GLL is a charitable social enterprise and our policy is to roll out the LLW to everyone, even where this isn’t a contractual requirement. Since 2013 we have awarded pay increases well above inflation and the increases to the LLW in order to close the gap.”

Unite’s Onay Kasab responded by saying: “Ealing, Tower Hamlets and Waltham Forest all have Living Wage status. This applies to all their sub-contractors. If GLL continues not to pay the London Living Wage, then these councils will lose their accreditation.”

A Tower Hamlets spokesman said: “Tower Hamlets is committed to paying the London Living Wage and GLL who run some of our leisure services have voluntarily introduced LLW (for over 21s) a year in advance of what the contract requires.

“For workers between the ages of ages of 18-20 all future contracts from 2019 will include the stipulation that the London Living wage be paid to them.”

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