SOME workers across Oxfordshire are set to receive a pay rise because of new rates for voluntary living wages.

The so-called 'real living wage' will increase by 30p to £8.75, with more than 3,600 employers across the country signed up to the rates, which are higher than the statutory National Living Wage of £7.50 for over 25-year-olds. That is run by the Living Wage Foundation. 

Oxford University, IKEA, Google and West Oxfordshire Community Transport are among the organisations signed up to the scheme.

Oxford City Council's own Oxford Living Wage will also go up £9.69 next April to reflect an increase in the London Living Wage. 

As part of that second voluntary scheme, that is paid to council employees, contractors and other participating businesses.   

The Living Wage Foundation said the increase to £10.20 in the London Living Wage and the national increase to £8.75 outside the capital have largely been driven by higher inflation, rising housing rents and transport costs.

The Living Wage Foundation's change is expected to affect around 150,000 people across the country.

The announcement follows new research by KPMG showing that 5.5 million people across the UK, or 21 per cent of the workforce, are still paid less than the voluntary rates.

Living Wage Foundation director Katherine Chapman said: "The new rates will bring relief for thousands of UK workers being squeezed by stagnant wages and rising inflation.

"It's thanks to the leadership of over 3,600 employers across the UK who are committed to paying all their staff, including cleaners and security staff, a real living wage.

"Great businesses know that, even during these tough times, not only is fair pay the right thing to do but paying the real living wage brings big benefits.

"Nine out of 10 accredited living wage employers report real benefits including improved retention, reputation, recruitment and staff motivation."

While Oxford City Council's deputy leader Susan Brown welcome the authority's increase in the Oxford Living Wage.

She said: "We are proud to announce the new Oxford Living Wage, and the City Council commits to continuing to pay all staff, agency workers and contractors above this level.

"This helps our employees afford to live with dignity, and it also helps the council by improving staff motivation, customer service and by making it easier for us to retain quality staff. We encourage other employers in Oxford to adopt the Oxford Living Wage.”