The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) has called for a regional minimum wage after new research showed large variations in the impact of increases to the National Minimum Wage across the UK.
The FSB found that minimum wage increases affect one in four businesses in Scotland, Wales and northern regions of England compared to just under one in 20 in the south east of England.
In evidence to the Low Pay Commission published today, the FSB said that community businesses, such as hotels, restaurants, shops, garages, care homes and hairdressers, are the most likely to be affected by increases to the minimum wage.
FSB employment chairman, Alan Tyrrell, said: “The National Minimum Wage has a disproportionate impact on businesses in Scotland, Wales and the North of England. Regional wage variations such as ‘London weighting’ are standard practice in many organisations and there is now compelling evidence to look at introducing a regional variation to the minimum wage.”
By Michael Millar