OXFORD University is hoping to become an accredited living wage employer.

The university already pays its staff a living wage, higher than the minimum wage, to take into account the cost of living.

But if it became an accredited employer this would mean all those employed on university premises, including contractors, would be expected to be paid a living wage.

It covers 11,804 staff in the central university, not including the colleges.

Dr Stephen Goss, the university’s pro-vice chancellor for personnel and equality, said In a letter: “The personnel committee ... decided to explore whether it would be financially viable to make a greater commitment to the living wage by becoming an accredited employer.”

Dr Goss said he hoped to start a phased move towards accreditation this year.

Oxford City Council is already an accredited employer, paying its staff £8.36 an hour compared to the minimum wage of £6.31.