Merton College is committed to paying its staff at least the Oxford Living Wage (OLW), an hourly minimum rate of pay that promotes liveable earnings for all workers and recognises the high cost of living in Oxford. The change came into effect from April 2020, following a decision made by the Governing Body in Michaelmas term 2019.
Introduced by Oxford City Council, the OLW is set annually and linked to the Living Wage Foundation’s Real Living Wage. It takes into account not only the high rents, property prices and cost of travel for those living in and travelling to work in the city, but also the opportunity to enjoy the social and cultural attractions of Oxford. The City Council has set the rate - currently £10.21 an hour, but due to rise to £10.31 in April - at 95% of the London Living Wage.
Councillor Susan Brown, Leader of the City Council, said:
“The cost of living in Oxford is one of the highest outside of London, and we are committed to encouraging local employers to pay their staff a liveable wage.
“We promote the Oxford Living Wage as a way for employers to show that they recognise the financial pressures on their staff, and demonstrate the value they place on their employees.
“This year above all others a commitment to a fair wage is especially important - ensuring that the pressure of unfair wages is not added to the overall stress of the pandemic.
“It is great to see that Merton College decided to take this step in 2019 and has continued to support the Oxford Living Wage. I hope that other colleagues and local employers will be following soon.”
Professor Irene Tracey, the Warden of Merton College, said:
"I was delighted that during my first term as Warden in 2019 the Governing Body committed wholeheartedly to support the Oxford Living Wage. As a local girl myself, I am well aware of the financial pressures that face individuals and families living in Oxford. Merton values its employees enormously and this is just one way we can show our commitment."
The College became an accredited Living Wage Employer in 2016.