Increases In Minimum Wage Result In Redundancies
UK – The Association of Convenience Stores (ACS) yesterday issued a stark warning of further job losses and reduced hours for retail workers as a direct result of further increasing the minimum wage.
The organisation provided evidence to back up its claims during a meeting with independent body the Low Pay Commission (LPC), saying any more additional rises would be unsustainable alongside ever-increasing business rates and various other costs.
The ACS is not alone in its line of thinking; just a few weeks ago the British Retail Consortium (BRC) publically blasted the increase in wage by stating the move would impact negatively across the retail sector. Stephen Robertson, BRC Director General, had commented at the time that the country’s fragile climate demanded that current jobs were supported.
Robertson also said that whilst the majority of retail positions pay at higher rates than the minimum wage, further increases are sure to push wages up in all areas and will lead to sustainability and expansion problems.
The ACS was required to provide evidence in a face-to-face setting and pointed out facts such as some 70 per cent of merchants have had to make redundancies and reduce their workers’ hours due to the minimum wage rise in 2010. Retailers are also reducing their investment amounts because of the increased costs involved in employment.
James Lowman, CEO at ACS, suggests that the country’s minimum wage should simply be a fixed amount that wages are not allowed to fall below, instead of the continued increases that have brought it to such an unaffordable level that people are now losing their jobs or facing a reduction in hours.
Next year will see costs for businesses increase further; for many UK businesses another prospective rise in the minimum wage will simply push margins too tight, meaning more job losses.
ACS has submitted both oral and written evidence to the LPC.
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