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BRC welcomes 1.8% minimum wage increase

Published: 20 March 2012
The British Retail Consortium has spoken out about the 11p increase in the national minimum wage for adults, calling it a "wise move" - but added that freezing the youth rate would make minimal difference to the retail sector at large.
The government announced this week that from October the new minimum wage would be set at £6.19 an hour, a move which the BRC described as helpful for retailers "to maintain and create jobs and support low income households."

BRC director general Stephen Robertson said: "As the largest private sector employer, retail recognises its vital role in providing much-needed employment. Over 98% of people working for our members are paid more than the minimum wage, but this is the right move in the current economic conditions."

"This sensible increase shows appropriate restraint at a time of falling inflation and rising unemployment. 1.8 per cent is within the limits the BRC's evidence showed would allow retailers to create and maintain jobs. Any larger increase would have piled extra pressure on retailers at a time of weak customer demand.

"Freezing the youth rate may make a marginal difference to work opportunities for young people but retailers pay the rate for the job and the vast majority of under 20s working in retail are paid the adult rate."

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