Kingston Council (RBK) are paying all their employees the National Living Wage, it was announced yesterday (November 15).

The news came during Living Wage Week (November 11-17).

Promoted by the Living Wage Foundation, the week-long campaign aims to raise awareness about the Living Wage and the benefits of paying it for employers as well as workers.

RBK was officially awarded an "accreditation" by the Foundation.

That means everyone who works for the council will receive the London Wage or London Living Wage (£9.30 per hour and £10.75).

RBK now joins thousands of other organizations across the county already paying the Living Wage.

The council said it would work with its contractors and providers to ensure its supply chain is compliant too.

"We are thrilled to have been accredited as a Living Wage employer which demonstrates our commitment to raising living standards," said Sarah Ireland, Director of Corporate and Commercial at RBK.

"Paying a Living Wage isn’t just beneficial to employees — it also benefits the employers themselves, as the evidence suggests it improves staff motivation and retention, and boosts an organisation’s reputation.

"I’d encourage any local employers not already paying their staff the Living Wage to join the scheme," she added.

Research conducted by the Smith Institute think tank last year suggested that introducing a Living Wage everywhere would boost the UK's annual growth by hundreds of millions of pounds and make workers over a thousand pounds better off every year.

"Over half a million workers would secure an average annual pay rise of over £1,700.

"This would not only help create more inclusive local economies but could also deliver additional annual economic growth worth £560m across the ten city regions by boosting productivity, and generate £350m in increased tax receipts and benefit savings for the Treasury," the Smith Institute said in 2018.

The Living Wage Foundation's Programme Manager Lucy Bannister meanwhile praised RBK's decision.

"We’re delighted that Kingston Council has joined the movement of nearly 6,000 responsible employers across the UK who voluntarily commit to go further than the government minimum to make sure all their staff earn enough to live on.

"They join thousands of small businesses, as well as household names such as LUSH, Heathrow Airport, Barclays, West Ham Football Club and many more," she said.

The Foundation said Kingston were the 20th London Borough to receive accreditation as a Living Wage employer.

Lewisham and Islington were the first two boroughs to be recognized as such back in 2012.

"Local authorities act as leaders with many local businesses normally following them and seeking accreditation, giving pay rises to many more workers," Ms Bannister added.

"Paying the real Living Wage is the mark of a responsible employer and employers, like Kingston Council, believe that a hard day’s work deserves a fair day’s pay."