Future National Living Wage Increases Must Not Come at the Expense of Jobs

ACS has called on the Low Pay Commission to ensure that future increases in wage rates do not negatively impact the labour market.  

Figures from the ACS Local Shop Report show that in the last three years, the number of jobs in the convenience sector has fallen from 407,000 in 2015 to 370,000 in 2017 despite the number of stores remaining stable.

In its annual submission to the Low Pay Commission, ACS draws on evidence from its National Living Wage survey which represents the views of over 3,000 stores. When asked about the impact that the latest increase in the National Living Wage has had on their business, findings included:

  • 75% of retailers are reducing the number of staff hours in their business
  • 60% of retailers are increasing the number of hours they work to cover staff shortages
  • 39% of retailers have had to  reduce the number of staff employed in their business

When asked about future increases in the National Living Wage, 77% of respondents believed that the rate should not rise any higher than the rate of inflation.

ACS chief executive James Lowman said: “Convenience stores are an important local employer, providing flexible jobs for people that often have other commitments at home. It is clear however that rises in the National Living Wage are forcing retailers into making difficult decisions to reduce costs in their business by reducing staff hours, working more themselves to make up the shortfall and even having to lay off staff altogether.

“Convenience store owners are keen to pay their employees as much as they can, but further job losses should not be a consequence of rises in national wage rages. We urge the Low Pay Commission to exercise caution in setting future wage rates and consider carefully the impact that any significant rises will have on the labour market.”

In the submission, respondents to the National Living Wage Survey have also said that there have been no positive changes as a result of increasing wage rates. 88% of retailers report that they have not experienced reduced staff turnover, reduced absenteeism or increased productivity or worker effort since the National Living Wage was introduced. 

The full submission is available here

This entry was posted by Chloe on Fri, 01/06/2018 - 15:07