Low Pay Commissioner Visits Convenience Retailer

The Low Pay Commission has visited an East of England Co-op store in Gorleston as part of its Visits Programme in Great Yarmouth. ACS supports retailers to take part in the Low Pay Commission Visits Programme to provide first hand evidence about the impact of the National Living Wage and employment costs.

Evidence from the visits will inform the Low Pay Commission’s recommendations to Government on the minimum wage rates to apply from April 2020 and the future of National Living Wage policy beyond 2020. The National Living Wage’s existing target is to reach 60% of median earnings by 2020, currently projected at £8.65.

East of England Co-op operates over 120 local shops across Norfolk, Suffolk and Essex. The visit discussed the impact of the National Living Wage since 2016 on working hours, staffing structures, store investments and productivity. The visit also covered the impact of wider employment regulations and setting wage rates within a broader context of government policies to tackle low pay.

Karen Hill, Head of Human Resources at East of England Co-op said: “We are pleased that members of the commission were able to visit our store in Gorleston as part of their research. As a co-operative business we are great believers in the importance of fair pay and reward and we are pleased we could contribute to the commission’s important work.”

ACS chief executive James Lowman said: “Our survey of retailers in the convenience sector shows that they are continuing to make difficult decisions in response to wage rates, taking measures including delaying investment and cutting back on staff hours. While retailers have always looked to increase productivity and efficiency, there are only so many measures they can take, and these cost increases are being keenly felt in our sector.

“We are urging the Government to set wage rates beyond 2020 based on economic analysis, carried out by the Low Pay Commission, moving away from damaging political targets. We would support wage rates rising at a moderate level which avoids negative employability impacts for workers and supports good quality employment available across the sector.”

ACS has recently submitted written evidence  to the Low Pay Commission, available here.

Pictured: Stuart Jefferies, East of England Co-op Area Manager; Simon Sapper, Low Pay Commissioner; Tim Butcher, LPC Chief Economist; Liam Pocock, East of England Co-op Store Manager; David Massey, LPC Secretary; Bryan Sanderson, LPC Chair; Karen Hill, East of England Co-op Head of Human Resources

This entry was posted by Chloe on Thu, 04/07/2019 - 09:44