The ACS has called for a cautious approach to the setting of future National Living Wage (NLW) rates for 2024 and beyond.
In a submission to the Low Pay Commission, who advise the government on the levels of the National Minimum Wage (NMW) and NLW, the ACS urged the body to recognise the challenges faced by local shops as a result of the cost-of-living crisis and increased operating costs.
This follows the NLW increasing by 9.7% from £9.50 per hour to £10.42, from 1 April this year.
The ACS’ NLW survey 2023 found that retailers have responded to the recent increases with 69% of stores taking lower profits, 56% reducing staff hours, 50% reducing the amount they invest in their business and 50% automating certain processes.
Chief executive James Lowman said: “The convenience sector is a prime example of genuine two-sided flexibility in the labour market, providing local, secure, and flexible jobs to hundreds of thousands of people across the UK.
“It is important that future wage rates are approached with caution, set independently of political targets and that decisions are made in the context of the economic climate. An ‘emergency brake’ mechanism to suspend uprating when wage rates have a detrimental effect on employment opportunities could prove crucial.”
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