A living wage is not a privilege granted to workers rather, it is enabled by workers, as a matter of enjoying their workplace rights.
Oxford is committed to integrate a living wage, beyond its own workforce, to include at least the first tier of its global supply chain by 2025. We do not want the workers employed in our supply chain to face hardship in their daily lives.
Our aspiration is that workers earn enough for their basic needs and those of their family, and have income remaining to cover discretionary spending, as well as savings. We seek suppliers who progressively raise employee living standards through improved wage systems, benefits, welfare programs and other services which enhance quality of life.
Our approach utilises the Ankers’ net wage definition:
Net Wage = Basic or Contracted Wage + In-Kind Benefits + Cash Benefits – Legal Taxes & Deductions.
Incentive pay is included when verified that workers earn it during the regular work week. Leave pay is included if it is not already included in the basic wage. Overtime is never included when evaluating workers’ living wages.
The living wage methodology has 2 components:
1. cost of a basic but decent life style for a worker and his/her family in a particular place
2. the living wage being paid to workers considers housing costs using international and national standards for decent housing. By estimating the cost of decent housing, the methodology enables different living wages estimates within countries and helps ensure that workers can afford decent housing.
Accessing data collection and available secondary data is critical to ensure the methodology is simultaneously practical and credible. For example, local food prices and housing costs will be collected as are education, health care and transport costs to make sure that workers are paid enough to afford these.
Accessing wage data to set internal priorities and create actionable plans for implementing fair compensation may not be possible to achieve fair compensation in our supply chain immediately however, Oxford will demonstrate our intention to raise wages where necessary, to provide fair compensation over time.
Specifically, Oxford is committed to collecting data from a representative sample of their supply chain.
Secondly, it will use this data to generate cross-departmental conversations within each company about setting strategies and priorities for fair compensation, including tactics pertaining to high risk sourcing.
Finally Oxford will develop a blueprint for fair compensation that articulates priorities and describes how implement changes and test new approaches towards improving worker wages.
In the 1st instance, Oxford will be working closely with SGS or SEDEX in Bangladesh to conduct research for this initiative. By 2022, we will be working with suppliers in China’s 3 provinces of Guangdong, Zhejiang and Shandong.