Employers feel pressure to pay above minimum wage levels

Employers are being pressured into paying staff above the National Minimum Wage (NMW) level, to avoid being seen as ‘tight’, according to new research.

Personnel Today’s sister organisation, pay specialists Industrial Relations Services, found that more than two-thirds (69.7%) of 70 respondents agreed that there is pressure to reward staff with pay above the NMW, though 90% thought the current adult NMW level, which stands at £5.73 per hour, was adequate.

Nearly a third (27.7%) felt that the NMW increases had led to decreased company profits.

Rachel Sharp, author of the report, said: “The National Minimum Wage is now facing its first recession, and it will be interesting to see whether the Low Pay Commission can continue to tread a path between union demands and affordability for employers.”

However, several survey respondents felt that the different rates of NMW pay depending on what age you were was outdated. Young adults aged between 18 and 21 currently are entitled to £4.77 per hour. But if younger workers are doing the same job as older workers, they should be paid the same rate, respondents said.

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