West Ham United Football Club gains living wage accreditation


West Ham United Football Club has been accredited as a living wage employer by the Living Wage Foundation.

The organisation, which is the third Premier League football club to become a living wage employer, has committed to paying its 200 permanent employees, as well as any third-party contractors, at least the voluntary London living wage rate of £10.20 an hour.

The football club has paid its permanent employees the London living wage since 1 June 2015, however, it was not previously accredited because some staff based at its London Stadium were paid less than the hourly voluntary living wage rate. London Stadium’s owners have now committed to pay all staff the London living wage rate, and are currently working on a timeline to uplift staff wages. This enables West Ham United Football Club to achieve living wage employer status.

In addition, The East London Citizens Organisation (Telco), a branch of community organisation Citizens UK, is working with London Stadium staff who are employed by third-party contractors to confirm a pay increase timetable to also reach the London living wage rate. This action was promised earlier this year by the London Stadium following the Mayor of London’s intervention in support of low-paid cleaners working there.

The living wage is an independently set hourly rate of pay that is calculated according to the basic costs of living. Employers pay the living wage on a voluntary basis, and the rate is updated annually. The living wage is currently set at £8.75 an hour for employees working across the UK, and at £10.20 an hour for staff based in London. The higher London living wage reflects the increased living costs associated with residing in the capital.

The voluntary living wage is distinct from the statutory national living wage, which is paid to employees aged 25 and over. The national living wage rate is currently set at £7.50 an hour.

Karren Brady, vice-chairman at West Ham United Football Club, said: “We are absolutely delighted to have secured the Living Wage Foundation’s seal of approval as an accredited London living wage employer, and hope to act as a good example for all other Premier League clubs and big businesses in London.

“The Living Wage Foundation accreditation is something we have been working towards for a long time, including lobbying the Mayor to help encourage our landlords to commit to paying a fair day’s pay, and we are over the moon to now be in a position where we can finally become a recognised living wage employer.

“The football club isn’t just made up of the 11 players on the pitch, and by making this commitment we hope to ensure that West Ham United continues be a place where the best talents want to ply their trade, and London Stadium, Rush Green and Chadwell Heath are environments in which they can achieve their goals.

“We recognise the contribution of each and every employee at the club, and rewarding and retaining our staff is a major part of that. We take pride in the way we conduct ourselves as an organisation on and off the pitch and by doing the right thing and paying the London living wage, we hope this will urge other clubs to soon follow suit.”