BUSINESSES are being encouraged to pay an ‘Oxford Living Wage’ to help tackle inequality and the high cost of living in the city.

Oxford City Council is hosting a business event to encourage employers to find out more about paying the Oxford Living Wage, as part of Living Wage Week between November 11 and 17.

The event takes place at 6pm on November 12 at Oxford Spires Four Pillars Hotel.

Speakers include the Oxford Bus Company, RightOn Group and Aspire and includes an informal networking opportunity.

Oxford has one of the highest rates of employment in the UK, at above 95 per cent, but also one of the highest costs of living in the country.

Oxford City Council launched the Oxford Living Wage to recognise employers who pay a liveable rate to their workforces.

Employers who sign up to the scheme guarantee to pay their employees the OLW rate, currently £10.02 per hour.

The rate of pay is set annually and linked to the Living Wage Foundation’s Real Living Wage, and set at 95 per cent of the London Living Wage.

The city council event offers businesses an opportunity to hear from employers who are already paying the OLW and find out more about how it could work for their business.

Councillor Martyn Rush, Oxford Living Wage Champion, said: “Paying the Living Wage improves retention and productivity, but also puts more money in the pockets of local people to spend, boosting the local economy. I hope the employers of Oxford will join us at this event.”