The Oxford Living Wage

Oxford Living Wage Logo

The Oxford Living Wage is an hourly minimum pay that promotes liveable earnings for all workers and recognises the high cost of living in Oxford. For 2023-24 the rate is £11.35 per hour.

The rate of pay is set annually and linked to the Living Wage Foundation’s Real Living Wage. Oxford City Council has set the rate at 95% of the London Living Wage.

The City Council runs an employer recognition scheme and encourages employers who pay the Oxford Living Wage to accredit so they can get wider recognition.

Why pay it?

Receiving a liveable wage that covers household and family costs is one of the most important reasons why employees work hard and stay with their employers.

The Oxford Living Wage has been created to promote liveable earnings for workers. It reflects the fact that Oxford is one of the most expensive cities to live in the UK, and helps accredited employers demonstrate they value their workforce. With expensive housing in the city, many workers have to choose between spending more money to live in the city, or more on travel to get to work.

The Oxford Living Wage has grown out of the Living Wage Foundation’s campaign which began 25 years ago, to secure a living wage not just a minimum wage. The Foundation’s campaign has found Living Wage employers have seen significant improvement in their reputation, staff retention, staff motivation and manager-staff relationships.

  • 80% of employers believe that the Living Wage has improved their staff’s quality of work
  • better loyalty and customer service, and fewer complaints
  • absenteeism down by a quarter
  • better retention of staff and lower human resources costs
  • 70% of employers think that the Living Wage has increased consumer awareness of their commitment to be an ethical employer

Information about the Living Wage Foundation and the UK-wide living wage initiative can be found on the Living Wage website.

How to apply

The accreditation system is based on self-reporting, requiring a signed letter from the company or institution committing to the current Oxford Living Wage.

  • All directly-employed staff must receive the Oxford Living Wage rate to qualify. If contractors are engaged, there must be a commitment to moving contractors to the Oxford Living Wage when it is practicable.
  • Every November, when the new Living Wage rates are announced, employers will need to renew their commitment to the new rates by sending a letter to the Council. Employers who do not re-accredit will be sent a reminder at the end of the calendar year to check that they want to continue as part of the scheme.
  • Apprentices are not covered in the Oxford Living Wage accreditation, but employers may choose to include them.
  • The Council reserves the right to remove employers from the accredited list if it receives information, or otherwise takes the view, that the employer is no longer compliant.
  • The Council reserves the right to update or amend these criteria, or update the accreditation system, with due notice.

If you meet the criteria, please send a letter confirming you are an Oxford Living Wage Employer, by email to or by post to:

Economic Development Team
Oxford City Council
Town Hall
St Aldate’s
Oxford, OX1 1BX