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Cheer for West Ham employees as club agrees to back living wage

West Ham becomes the third Premier League club to pay the living wage

A third Premier League football club has agreed to make sure staff including cleaners and match-day workers are paid the voluntary living wage, which is higher than the statutory rate.

Around 200 workers will benefit from the announcement by West Ham United to pay direct employees and contracted staff the London hourly rate of £10.20, compared with the national living wage of £7.50 for over-25s.

The Hammers join Chelsea and Everton in being accredited by the Living Wage Foundation, which sets the voluntary rate for London, and £8.75 an hour outside the capital.

West Ham vice-chairman Karren Brady 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. 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.”

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Karen Brady, chief executive of West Ham

Katherine Chapman, director of the Living Wage Foundation, said: “We are delighted that West Ham United have become the third Premier League football club to sign up as an accredited Living Wage employer, ensuring that all their staff receive a real living wage that covers the cost of living.

“That’s a pay rise for almost 200 people, including cleaners and staff at their training facilities.”The Living Wage badge is the mark of a responsible employer and West Ham United are joining a movement of over 3,700 employers across the UK who are making sure that all employees can live with dignity.

“It’s fantastic to see West Ham United’s leadership and I hope more football clubs will take their lead and follow suit.”

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: “I am determined to make London a fairer and more equal city, so it is good news that West Ham United have joined more than 1,500 businesses across the capital who are Living Wage employers. I encourage London’s other football clubs to follow the great example being set by Chelsea and now West Ham.

“Last week, I announced that I am taking over control of the London Stadium, where West Ham hosts its games. I am already taking steps to move it towards a more secure and stable financial footing and am committed to increasing the pay of all stadium staff to at least the London Living ‎Wage”.

Chancellor Philip Hammond announced in last month’s Budget that the national living wage is to increase by 33p an hour to £7.83 next April for workers aged over 25, while statutory rates for 21 to 24-year-olds will go up by the same amount to £7.38, by 30p for 18 to 20-year-olds to £5.90 and 15p to £4.20 for 16 and 17-year-olds.

The rate for apprentices aged under 19 or in the first year of an apprenticeship will increase by 20p to £3.70.

More than 3,600 employers pay the voluntary rate, including 1,500 in London.

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