Business groups call for delay to minimum wage increase

Several influential business groups are calling for a delay in the next minimum wage increase in the UK to help companies rebuild their finances after lockdown. Tom Ironside of the British Retail Consortium said: “In recent years, retailers have worked hard to increase pay, with many going beyond the legal requirement. However, with many retailers struggling to maintain viability in the face of the continued crisis, it is not the right time to be adding even greater pressure to an industry that already operates on very fine margins.”

The Institute of Directors is also considering pushing for a delay, and the Food and Drink Federation said that members were being polled on the issue. Matthew Fell of the Confederation of British Industry would not say if the organisation intended to lobby against an increase to the minimum wage. Alice Tranter of Make UK warned that if the minimum wage continued rising at its c urrent rate, it would hit £11.03 by 2024 - equal to an annual salary of £21,221 for anyone older than 21.

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