London weighting is an allowance paid to a range of key workers in London, including NHS employees, civil servants, teachers, airline employees, police and security officers. It is designed to help these workers with the cost of living in London, which is notoriously higher than the rest of the UK.
The purpose is to encourage people to stay and live in the UK’s capital rather than relocating to cheaper areas of the UK. If you are a doctor who has been employed by a London NHS Trust, you will be entitled to London weighting.
A recent study conducted by the Trust for London estimates that the cost of living and working is 20% more expensive than the rest of the UK. However, the city’s global trends and its exclusivity makes it a desirable place to live. London has previously been named the world’s most expensive city to live and work in for several years.
The history of London weighting began when the Industrial Revolution hit. Factories were desperate for staff to labour the machines and turn the wheels of production. Predictably, thousands and then millions fled to the capital to be employed. As the influx of people increased, so did the cost of living.
Rent: accommodation in London is unthinkably expensive in comparison to every other major city in the UK. The average price of a rental property in Greater London is £1560pcm, to compare this to the UK average of £749pcm, which equates to a 108% disparity.
It completely depends where your hospital is situated in the city. There are two zones: 1) The Central London Zone (inner) and an Outer London Zone/ Fringe Zone and different rates apply to each.
If you are staying within hospital accommodation, then you will be paid a reduced rate of London weighting. However, if you are a doctor who is occupying private rented accommodation with reasonable daily travelling distance of the hospital, you should receive the full rate of London weighting.
Each NHS Trust will have their own policy; however, you can expect an estimate of (before tax):
Central London - £4,098 per year
Outer London - £2,756
Fringe / South East – 1,000 per year
Click here for further information on how to find accommodation in the UK.
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Perkbox. (2019). London weighting: what is it and who is entitled to it?. [online] Available at: https://www.perkbox.com/uk/resources/blog/london-weighting-what-is-it-and-who-is-entitled-to-it [Accessed 15 Oct. 2019].
Trustforlondon.org.uk. (2019). [online] Available at: https://www.trustforlondon.org.uk/documents/57/London-Weighting-Key-Findings-2.pdf [Accessed 15 Oct. 2019].