ACS criticises Labour's plan to link minimum wage to average earnings
The Association of Convenience Stores has warned that local shops would be "threatened" by plans by the Labour Party to bring the National Minimum Wage closer to average earnings.
ACS chief executive James Lowman said: “We support the National Minimum Wage and the protection it provides to workers, but forcing large annual hikes in the minimum wage rate, in the way that the Labour Party proposals suggest, will threaten investment and prevent local shops from creating jobs.
“We firmly believe that the Low Pay Commission should be left to independently evaluate, monitor and recommend future wage rates. Indexation of the National Minimum Wage to average earnings would not account for fluctuations in the economy or employment market. The success of the National Minimum Wage over the last 15 years is based on ensuring that politics is removed from how rates are set. It is vital that this does not change.”
The 2013 ACS Minimum Wage Survey showed that 87% of retailers have reduced staff hours within their business as a result of increases in employment costs, while 75% 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.
The Labour Party is set to publish a report by Alan Buckle on wages policy. ACS made detailed comments as part of Buckle’s review.
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