The ‘Wood & Vale’ reports;
“A Maida Vale publican has offered to sit down with council chiefs over a pint of beer and explain why paying the London Living Wage is good for business.
Andrew Fishwick, owner of The Truscott Arms in Shirland Road, said he would be “delighted” to come face-to-face with Westminster Council paymasters and point out ways they could afford the £8.80-an-hour rate.
He said: “I would happily sit down with one of the bosses and explain how paying the London Living Wage means staff will be less reliant on council support and how they need to stop thinking about the impact of the initial cost. It makes absolute sense and we have benefited massively from that.”
The Wood and Vale revealed last week how Westminster Council had not signed up to be a LLW borough and questioned how it could afford to pay sub-contracted staff the increased rate.
Mr Fishwick said the claim was nonsense and revealed he had actually saved money since adopting the LLW following the pub’s opening earlier this year.
He said: “I absolutely do not sign up to what Westminster have said about not being able to afford it. This is about the fear big business has and people only looking at the bottom line.”
Directly-employed staff at the council are paid the same or higher than the LLW but – unlike Camden Council – Westminster does not ask contractors to pay the rate, meaning some could be on the minimum wage of £6.31-per-hour.
Mr Fishwick said: “I actually think it is shocking that they are not prepared to ensure sub-contracted staff are paid the London Living Wage.
“When we were establishing the company, we wanted to take our corporate responsibility really seriously with things like sourcing produce but also paying staff.
“It is a cliché but it is true that your biggest asset is your staff and you want to ensure they stick around and to look after them so paying the rate was a way of saying ‘you are vital to what we do’.
“It also makes economic sense. To recruit a single person can cost on average £3,000 with advertising the job, training etc.
“If you can keep hold of people longer you save money and one way of doing that is to pay them properly.”
Mr Fishwick bought the Truscott Arms in February and opened a short while later – becoming one of the first 200 businesses in the capital to sign up to the LLW.”