Anne Veck, the award-winning Oxfordshire-based hairdresser, has added its support to Oxford City Council’s campaign to become England’s first Living Wage City.
The eco-friendly salons in Oxford and Bicester, which first embraced the Living Wage back in 2014, is encouraging more Oxford-based employers to commit to paying all staff over the age of 18, who work regularly on their premises, the £8.75 an hour recommended by charity the, Living Wage Foundation.
Following a meeting hosted by Oxford City Council and the Living Wage Foundation, attended by nearly 40 employers, Keith Mellen, Director of Anne Veck Limited, said:
We pay the Living Wage because it is the right thing to do and because it helps us recruit and retain great people. It tells our employees that we value them and it helps them meet Oxford’s high living costs, especially in terms of housing.
Low pay is a false economy because it is subsidised by benefits and tax credits. The Living Wage is good for employers, employees and Oxford, as it helps stop people moving to cheaper parts of the country and enables us to attract the staff we need.
A report produced by the Smith Institute in September 2018, calculated that ten UK cities could see an annual economic boost of £1.1 billion if a quarter of low paid workers had their pay increased to the Living Wage. Oxford City Council believes that Oxford becoming a Living Wage City will help deliver a commensurate increase in local spending power, benefitting all of the city’s communities.
The Living Wage outside London is currently £8.75 an hour, which will rise to £9 an hour from April 2019. In addition to being one of Oxford’s first adopters of the Living Wage, Anne Veck’s salon in Oxford was the world’s first to use the pioneering BlueGenCeramic fuel cell technology, which converts gas to electricity and heats water as well as the building, helping to reduce energy use by half.