Oxford City Council has announced that the Oxford hourly living wage will rise from £9.69 to £10.02 in April 2019.
The Oxford living wage is the minimum rate paid by the council to its workers, including agency staff. Any contractors who have contracts worth more than £100,000 are also expected to pay their staff and subcontractors the Oxford living wage.
The council is accredited by the Living Wage Foundation, which sets the voluntary living wage, and said that its minimum would be 95% of that of London because Oxford is a relatively expensive place to live.
Voluntary living wage rates exceed the government’s national living wage, which is the statutory minimum paid to employees aged 25 and over, currently set at £7.83 an hour and due to increase to £8.21 from April 2019.
Councillor Martyn Rush, living wage champion for Oxford City Council, said: “Oxford needs a pay rise. The Oxford living wage helps our employees afford to live with dignity. It also helps the council by improving staff motivation and retention, enabling us to provide better customer service.
“A number of other local employers already pay the Oxford living wage, including the Oxford Bus Company, Campion Hall, Blackfriars College and My Life My Choice. Oxford City Council encourages other employers in Oxford to follow their lead and adopt the Oxford living wage.”
Craig Simmons, councillor for St Mary’s and leader of the Green Party on the council, believes the city’s living wage should exceed that of London. He said: “Oxford is the least affordable city to live in the UK, and there is not the choice of accommodation that you can get in London. Commuting costs are also greater. Homelessness is also higher proportionally than in London. If anything, we need a higher living wage than London, not one which is lower.”