Profession is unmoved by pay floor increase

HR professionals are unconcerned by the rise in the minimum wage announced
by the Government last week.

The 10 pence rise in the hourly rate from £3.60 to £3.70 will come into
force from October. It is expected to mean a pay rise for 1.5 million people.
The Government also announced a 20 pence increase in the rate payable for
workers aged 18 to 21 years.

The uprating followed widespread speculation that Trade and Industry
Secretary Stephen Byers would announce a freeze until April 2001.

The minimum wage was introduced last year amid fears it would lead to job
losses, particularly among retail and part-time staff.

But employers said they were unsurprised by the uprating announcement.

Mark Geary, HR director at Thistle Hotels, said the move would have little
impact. "We had anticipated that there would be an increase and budgeted
for it accordingly," he said.

Director of HR at the Savoy Group Tim Gates said, "The increase will
have relatively little effect in London where rates tend to be driven by a
competitive labour market.

"For smaller provincial operators the changes will inevitably be seen
as an extra burden."

By Helen Rowe

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