Oxford City Council have announced a new Oxford Living Wage for 2024, going up 10% from £11.35 to £12.49 an hour.
The Oxford Living Wage is set at 95% of the London Living Wage. Last month, the real living wage in London increased by 10% to £13.15. The new rate will go into effect starting April 2024.
Oxford is regularly named as one of the least affordable places to live in the UK. Numbeo, an online database tracking cost of living, found that Oxford was the second most expensive place to live in the country in 2023 behind London.
The cost of living remained expensive despite cooling inflation in recent months. The City Council has pledged to recognise this and “ensure people are paid fairly”.
This pay benchmark was launched in 2008. It is an hourly minimum pay that promotes liveable earnings for all workers in the city.
The figure is separate from the National Living Wage, a legal requirement that employers have to pay employees over the age of 23. This is £10.42, and has no weighting dependent on different areas of the country.
Over 120 Oxford businesses and organisations signed up to a Living Wage Employer, with examples such as Common Ground, Jolly Farmers, and most Oxford colleges. A list can be found on the city council website.
Councillor Susan Brown, Leader of Oxford City Council and Cabinet Member for Inclusive Economy and Partnerships, said “I am incredibly proud that over 120 businesses in Oxford are accredited Oxford Living Wage employers.”
“Paying the Oxford Living Wage not only benefits the employees who are being paid a truly liveable wage, but it also helps employers attract new talent and keep staff. In addition, also it helps make our city a fairer one for everyone and means that local residents have more money to spend in the local economy.
“I’d encourage any business or organisation that is considering paying Oxford Living Wage to do so and to become accredited through the council’s scheme. This means that they will be recognised for helping Oxford become a fairer place for everyone.”