Everyone who works for Croydon Council will receive a minimum of £8.80 an hour, a rate known as the London Living Wage, according to Croydon’s new council leader.

The figure is £2.49 AN hour more than the national minimum wage and is calculated as the amount people need to cover the basic costs of living in the capital, the equivalent to £16,518 a year for a 36 hour week.

Speaking before the council’s cabinet meeting on Monday night, council leader Councillor Tony Newman said this policy will also extend to those employed by contractors, such as binmen and leisure centre staff.

It will be difficult for the council to negotiate pay with existing contracts, but Coun Newman said it will be a key point when contracts come up for renewal.

He said: “In terms of any new contracts, companies won’t be used if they don’t pay the living wage.

“I will be calling on anyone not paying the living wage to do it if they want to carry on working with us.

“It’s the right thing for employers to do and it’s the sensible thing for people to do if you’re working with the council.”

The council is aiming to have the plan in place before April 2015.

Coun Newman added: “The people of Croydon deserve a fair wage for a day’s work.

“They need to be paid enough to live comfortably in the nation’s capital where they contribute their time and skills to growing the nation’s economy.

“The living wage doesn’t just make it possible for more people to free themselves from dependency on benefits, it also makes great business sense by reducing staff turnover and increasing productivity.”