The British Retail Consortium (BRC) has written to the chancellor to ask him to ensure national minimum wage increases never outstrip rises in average earnings.
The proposal forms part of the employer body’s six-point submission for Alistair Darling’s Pre-Budget Report.
Six Strategies for Success aims to reduce retailers’ price pressures and restore consumer confidence.
It also asks for the Low Pay Commission to help retailers by taking difficult trading conditions such as the current economic slowdown into consideration, as well as the impact on the service sector. The minimum wage is currently £5.52 per hour for workers aged 22 years and older.
Stephen Robertson, BRC director-general, said: “Retail is responsible for more than 10% of UK employment, leads the way on training and workforce diversity, and is at the heart of the government’s drive to help difficult-to-employ people back into work.
“Retailers support the national minimum wage, but future rises should not exceed average earnings increases.”
The retail sector employs three million workers in the UK.