A COUNCIL is urging more Oxford employers to pay the living wage after 40 businesses signed up.
With Oxford being the least affordable city for housing in the UK, Oxford City Council believe the living wage is “essential to help employees live with dignity”.
The living wage in the city is set at £9.69 up from £9.26 the previous year and businesses are encouraged to sign up to this rate.
One of the businesses signed up to the initiative is Becky Hallsmith, who owns The Ultimate Picture Palace, who said: “I have always paid the Ultimate Picture Palace staff salaries based on the real living wage.
“Without my wonderfully enthusiastic and hard-working team there would be no business – and although we operate on extremely tight margins, I feel strongly that it would be immoral not to ensure that the business plan allows for them to be paid a fair wage for the hard work that they do.”
Councillor Mark Ladbrooke, chairman of Oxford City Council’s Living Wage Review, said: “It’s often said that Oxford has London prices with Midlands wages – and in the case of housing we are more unaffordable than London.
“Paying the living wage would help Oxford residents to bear the real cost of living, and evidence from living wage employers shows that the living wage is also good for business.”
The living wage is a minimum hourly pay rate which is calculated by the Living Wage Foundation and updated every year.
Last week it announced an increase on the national average from £8.45 to £8.75, to take effect from April 2018.