More employers could receive Oxford Living Wage recognition, says City Council

Published: Friday, 26th July 2019

Fusion Lifestyle received its Oxford Living Wage certificate from Oxford City Council Living Wage Champion Martyn Rush.

Fusion manages, operates and develops Oxford City Council’s leisure centres, and in partnership with the City Council, it has guaranteed its employees at least £10.02 and hour, which is the Oxford Living Wage.

Oxford City Council’s 15 year partnership with Fusion began in 2009, before Oxford Living Wage was linked to the London Living Wage. The City Council is now providing £135,000 of funding to enable Fusion to top up wages to the full Oxford Living Wage rate.

The Oxford Living Wage reflects the high costs of living in the city, and is set at £10.02 an hour, 95% of the London Living Wage.

The Oxford Living Wage is a self-certification scheme. To be accredited employers must confirm in writing that all directly employed staff will receive at least the Oxford Living Wage rate. Apprentices are not required to be included but employers can choose to do so.

Each year the Oxford Living Wage rate for the following year is announced in November, and comes into effect in April. Accredited employers are asked to renew their commitment in writing to the Council.

Oxford Living Wage employers have the right to display the Oxford Living Wage logo on their premises, and the City Council provides a certificate for them to display.

Fusion Lifestyle  is one of 16 employers who have accredited to Oxford Living Wage this year. More employers may already be eligible for accreditation, and the City Council encourages all who meet the criteria to seek formal recognition through the scheme.

Councillor Linda Smith, Cabinet Member for Leisure and Housing, said “Oxford has a very high cost of living and receiving the Oxford Living Wage can make a huge difference to people’s lives.  I’m proud that all our staff and all Fusion Lifestyle’s staff working in our leisure facilities receive at least the Oxford Living Wage. A living wage has been shown to improve employees’ performance and attendance, so I hope more Oxford employers will pledge this minimum rate of pay and sign up to the council’s new accreditation scheme to let their customers know they pay fair wages.”

Councillor Martyn Rush, Oxford City Council Living Wage Champion, said: “We welcome Fusion to the Oxford Living Wage accreditation scheme, and invite all employers in Oxford to join them. If you pay all of your staff at least £10.02 you can accredit for free and proudly display your commitment to paying your workers a fair and sustainable living. Citizens of Oxford should keep an eye out for the Oxford Living Wage logo on shops, businesses, buses and now, leisure centres. We’re on our way to Oxford being a Living Wage City and we look forward to welcoming new employers on that journey.”

Graham Ashby, Contracts Managers at Fusion Lifestyle, said: “Our staff work really hard, not just for us but also for our leisure centre users, so we want to make sure we recognise this by paying the Oxford Living Wage. It’s great that the City Council has recognised the rise in the wage since our contract began and is helping to top up pay packets so our staff are properly rewarded.”