Retail consortium warns of possible job cuts

The
British Retail Consortium (BRC) has warned that the Government’s decision to
increase the adult national minimum wage to £4.85 could lead to recruitment
problems and job losses in the sector.

The
BRC said it was disappointed that the rise has been approved despite evidence
presented to the Low Pay Commission suggesting this would be unwise given the
economic circumstances.

BRC
director of retail services Amanda Miller said: "The retail sector employs
2.8 million people – 11 per cent of the UK workforce.

"An
ill thought out decision on this will hit retailers hard. We are only relieved
that the wage did not rise above the commission’s recommendations.

"The
Government was cautious with the level for 16-17 year olds, setting the wage at
a sensible level in line with current economic conditions. But we are
disappointed that the same approach wasn’t adopted for the adult wage and
apprehensive about what the Commission might recommend in the future," Miller
added.

By Quentin Reade

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