Oxford City Council has announced a new Oxford Living Wage rate of £9.69 an hour, which will apply from April 2018.
The Oxford Living Wage is the minimum wage the council pays its staff and agency workers. The council also requires all contractors with contracts over £100,000 to pay the Oxford Living Wage to their staff and subcontractors.
This requirement means that everyone who has worked on the redevelopment of the Westgate Centre and the new housing development at Barton has been paid at least the Oxford Living Wage.
The Oxford Living Wage is based on the Living Wage, an hourly pay rate which is calculated for the Living Wage Foundation and updated every October. The Living Wage Foundation sets two rates, one for London and one for the rest of the country.
Because of the high costs of living in Oxford, the Oxford Living Wage is higher than the Living Wage, and it is set at 95% of the London Living Wage
The voluntary Living Wage is enough to ensure that employees and their families can live free from poverty. Employers who sign up to the Living Wage commit to pay it to all staff over the age of 18 who work regularly on their premises. This includes employed, contracted and subcontracted staff.
The council’s announcement comes at the start of Living Wage Week, when the Living Wage Foundation sets its new rates for London and the rest of the country.
Councillor Susan Brown, Deputy Leader of Oxford City Council and Board Member for Customer and Corporate Services, said: “We are proud to announce the new Oxford Living Wage, and the City Council commits to continuing to pay all staff, agency workers and contractors above this level. This helps our employees afford to live with dignity, and it also helps the council by improving staff motivation, customer service and by making it easier for us to retain quality staff. We encourage other employers in Oxford to adopt the Oxford Living Wage.”
Councillor Mark Ladbrooke, Chair of Oxford City Council’s Living Wage Review, said: “It’s been a privilege to take evidence from low paid workers, unions, health professionals, and community and faith groups who are arguing with such passion for fair pay in Oxford. I’m sure we will continue to be a strong advocate for the Living Wage, and we will work with workers and employers to make progress with this issue. A public Oxford City Living Wage Campaign has already been established, which will meet at 7pm tonight in the Town Hall.”
Katherine Chapman, Director of the Living Wage Foundation, said: “Year-on-year, we see organisations and businesses across the UK embracing the real Living Wage as they recognise that a fair day’s pay is not only the right thing so to but can improve the quality of staff’s work, reduce absenteeism and increase motivation and retention.”
“Today’s increase acknowledges that the cost of living continues to rise for workers everywhere and the leadership shown by businesses who welcome this is a cause for celebration during Living Wage Week, sending a positive message to the business community to show what others can achieve.”