Oxford City Council celebrates boost in businesses signing up to Oxford Living Wage

Published: Monday, 15th November 2021

The number of businesses paying the Oxford Living Wage has more than doubled over the past few months, ensuring more Oxford residents are paid a fair wage.

The Oxford Living Wage, which is administered by Oxford City Council, is set at 95% of the London Living Wage and aims to recognise the high cost of living in the city.

Oxford is regularly named as the least affordable place to live in the country.

The number of businesses accredited as part of the City Council’s Oxford Living Wage employer recognition scheme has risen from 20 to 55 since September to November 2021.

This week is Living Wage Week (15-21st November 2021), the annual celebration of the Living Wage movement.  

Oxford City Council is hosting an event at the Town Hall on Wednesday 17 November to mark the week and thank the many businesses in the city signed up to pay staff the Oxford Living Wage.

The event gives businesses a chance to network and hear from other employers about the benefits of being part of the scheme.

Employers who already pay the rate, currently set at £10.31 an hour and rising to £10.50 an hour in April 2022, are also being encouraged by the City Council to get accredited so they can get wider recognition.

The Oxford Living Wage

The Oxford Living Wage is an hourly minimum pay that promotes liveable earnings for all workers in the city.

For 2022-23 the rate is £10.50 an hour.

Fifty five businesses and organisations in the city have already signed up, including Oxford Bus Company, the University of Oxford and Merton College.

Why pay the Oxford Living Wage?

Offering the Oxford Living Wage can help employers improve both recruitment and retention.

Research from the Living Wage Foundation presents a good case for incentivising employers to pay its Oxford-based equivalent. Living Wage employers report benefits in working relations and retention rates. For example:

  • 86% of employers say it has improved the reputation of the business
  • 75% say it has increased motivation and retention rates amongst employees
  • 58% say it improved relations between managers and their staff

The City Council’s employer recognition scheme is simple and free and offers businesses the opportunity to benefit from being an accredited Oxford Living Wage employer.

For more information visit our Oxford Living Wage page.

“Business is increasingly aware of the need to pay staff a proper living wage. As we know, Oxford is a high cost city in which to live and local residents need to be able to meet their living costs. Businesses advertising vacancies paying at least the Oxford Living Wage will be more attractive to people looking for work.

“I know that the past year has been really tough for businesses but I would encourage them to consider paying staff the Oxford Living Wage. We know that it helps business to attract and retain employees.

“So far, fifty five organisations in Oxford have been accredited as paying the Oxford Living Wage, together employing close to over 20,000 people in the city and we want to support more businesses and other organisations to get involved.”

Councillor Susan Brown, Leader of Oxford City Council