To mark Living Wage Week, Oxford City Council held a business forum to recognise and celebrate Oxford Living Wage employers, and provide information about the benefits of paying a living wage.
Promoting the Oxford Living Wage
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. It is currently set at £10.02 and hour, or 95 per cent of the Living Wage Foundation’s London Living Wage, and so from April next year it will increase to £10.21 an hour.
The business event was attended by around 25 local employers, who heard from Oxford Bus Company, Righton Group and Aspire about how and why they as employers have taken on the Oxford Living Wage. Council representatives spoke about how to become an accredited employer and the benefits that can bring for both staff and businesses.
“Accrediting to the Oxford Living Wage is one way that employers in Oxford can show they recognise the high cost of living in the city. An event like this is an important way for us to engage with employers about why the City Council created an Oxford Living Wage and to listen to their feedback. Accreditation is simple and free of charge, and we’re always happy to talk to businesses that want to find out more or have questions about the scheme. So far 19 organisations have accredited, together employing over 2,000 people in the city, and we’re working to grow that number.”
Matt Peachey, Economic Development Manager at Oxford City Council
Information about what organisations need to do to accredit, and a list of all accredited employers, is available at https://www.oxford.gov.uk/livingwage
The Living Wage Foundation's campaign
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 at https://www.livingwage.org.uk/