Better Work Network

The Better Work Network draws together those involved in initiatives addressing low pay and the quality of work in London and is supported by a grant we have made to the Learning and Work Institute (LWI).

Low pay is a serious problem in London, with 1 in 5 employees in the capital earning below the London Living Wage. There are many charities and initiatives which focus on tackling this problem, and there is a need for a group which co-ordinates between these projects.

That is what the Better Work Network aims to do. Its specific aims are to:

  • Maximise the impact of initiatives focusing on low pay and better work to improve earnings and work quality;
  • Share best practice and resources across policymakers, funders, employers, support providers and influencers;
  • Influence policy and practice, in order to improve employment prospects for low-wage workers.

The first meeting took place at the end of June 2018 and brought together representatives with in interest in the field, including the Learning and Work Institute, Trust for London, Business in the Community, Joseph Rowntree Foundation, Walcott Foundation and the Living Wage Foundation among others. 

Future meetings will take place three times a year.

In August 2019, the Better Work Network launched the Better Work map, designed to locate progression-focused initiatives that are or have been in operation across the UK, including London.

In October 2020, the Network released a new report, Crisis in the Capital: How to protect low-paid workers and deliver better work in London, exploring the impact of the COVID-19 crisis on London’s labour market, and on low-paid Londoners. It it sets out recommendations for Government, the Mayor and London boroughs across key areas including: job creation, employment support, retraining support and social security support.

Resources, including learning from the network, briefing papers and toolkits will be hosted on a website to support commissioners, providers, employment intermediaries and influencers working on this agenda. If you are interested in joining the network or finding out about the work that it does, find out more about it.

If you are an organisation which works on these issues, and are interested in applying for funding, visit our funding page for guidance.

To find out more information about low pay in London, visit London’s Poverty Profile.