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21/03/2014

ACS says above inflation minimum wage rise ‘disappointing’

Business Secretary Vince Cable announced on 12th March that minimum wage is set to rise by 3% in October, accepting all of the Low Pay Commission’s recommendations.

The increase outstrips January’s inflation rates of 1.9% and was met with disappointment by the Association of Convenience Stores (ACS).

“We are disappointed with the increase in the National Minimum Wage above inflation, above average earnings growth, and above public sector pay award levels. Our research has clearly shown that retailers have little choice but to reduce staff hours and delay further business investment when the minimum wage is increased,” said ACS Chief Executive James Lowman.

Vince Cable, business secretaryRick Abbotts, Worcestershire chairman for the Federation of Small Businesses said he hoped the rise would not deter business taking on additional staff.

“The UK still has a huge unemployment problem and, collectively, small/medium businesses are the largest employer,” he said.

The 2013 ACS Minimum Wage Survey showed that 87 per cent of retailers have reduced staff hours within their business as a result of increases in employment costs, while 75 per cent have delayed expansion and investment plans. Findings from the Voice of Local Shops survey of 1,100 retailers earlier this year revealed that the majority of independent retailers believe that they earn less than the national minimum wage when their working hours are taken into account.

Originally published in Retail Gazette. 

Image source: The Guardian

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