Increasing the national minimum wage will add to the pressure on retailers as they try to grow their businesses and create jobs, warns the British Retail Consortium.
Increasing the national minimum wage will add to the pressure on retailers as they try to grow their businesses and create jobs, warns the British Retail Consortium (BRC).
The move, which will come into effect in October, takes the adult minimum wage up from £5.93 per hour to £6.08. Combined with slowing sales, poor consumer confidence and rising costs it will be a further obstacle to the retail sector as it tries to play its role in the country's economic recovery, says the organisation.
The BRC says it supports the principle of the minimum wage as a basic floor for decent pay but adds that it is important it reflects economic realities, highlighting that employers get just six months notice of the change, which is difficult to budget for, and that more notice of future National Minimum Wage decisions is needed.
BRC director general Stephen Robertson says, ‘At a time when the priority should be getting more people into work, any increase in staff costs is an extra hurdle. This rise in the National Minimum Wage is at the very top end of what retailers could be expected to live with.
‘Employers have just been hit by an increase in National Insurance. Business rates have soared and retailers are still absorbing much of the increase in VAT. This increase in the minimum wage is yet another challenge to retailers when trading is already difficult on the high street.’
See also: Minimum wage increases today