BBPA warns of increasing minimum wage rates

10/07/2017 - 10:47
The British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA) has urged the Low Pay Commission to be cautious about increasing national minimum and national living wage rates - given economic uncertainties and the increased costs that the industry faces this year.

In its submission to the Low Pay Commission last week, the BBPA points out that the national living wage cost the industry £34 million in 2016. Should the proposed increase of £7.50 go ahead this year, it will cost an additional £52 million - bringing the total additional staff cost to £86 million – which equates to approximately £1,600 for every pub in the UK. Many companies will also have to increase wages of other staff as a result, lead to even further costs.

BBPA chief executive, Brigid Simmonds said: “A cautious approach is certainly needed. Uncertainty surrounding Brexit and access to labour, plus significant new costs in other areas such as the four per cent rise in beer duty in the budget, are having an impact on the sector.

“Auto enrolment pensions, business rates, and the apprenticeship levy rate are also adding to costs now, and will continue to do so. All these factors all need to be fully considered when setting NLW (national living wages) rates.”

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