Council workers could be in for a pay rise after Merton agreed to adopt the London Living Wage.

Cabinet members met on yesterday to approve plans to adopt the scheme, which will mean all permanent council staff and agency workers will be entitled to a minimum wage of £8.55 per hour, backdated to April 2013.

It is believed 16 council employees currently do not receive London Living Wage.

The national minimum wage set by the government is currently £6.19 for those over 21, while the non mandatory national living wage is £7.45 per hour.

Keir Greenaway, Merton's GMB branch secretary, said: "It sends out a good message from the council that it is interested in helping its employees when it can."

The cost of adopting the London Living Wage for direct and agency staff has been estimated to be just £10,000 for direct staff, plus an estimated £41,000 to cover the expense of agency staff pay increases.

Councillor Stephen Alambritis, leader of Merton Council, said: "The rising cost of living is a big issue for our employees - many of whom live in the borough.

"We are therefore delighted to be a London Living Wage council. This has only been possible because of our good financial management.

"We have recently been awarded the title of best council in the country and as part of this we want to make sure all our staff are treated fairly."

Merton Council is the sixteenth London Borough to adopt the London Living Wage.