HR Rebecca Smith · 15 September 2015
Small businesses, hospitality and retail sectors to be hit hardest by national living wage
A report carried out by think tank Resolution Foundation found that three sectors hospitality, retail and support services will be most affectedby the national Living Wage, while small businesses will also be significantly worse off compared to larger companies. The national living wage, as set outby chancellor George Osborne, is to come into effect from April 2016 as a minimum wage for those aged 25 and over. It is expected to rise to more than 9 in 2020, and is intended to be equal to 60 per cent of the typical wage of workers aged 25 and over. The Resolution Foundation had previously estimated that six million workers, or 23 per cent of all employees, stood to benefit in 2020 as a result of the introduction. On average, across the six million affected, the living wage is expected to add 760 annually to pre-tax wages. Britain’s total wage bill is expected to rise by 0.6 per cent by 2020. The latest research investigated how the added cost will be distributed across employers looking at industry, occupation, sector and size. It found that the change seemed to represent only a relatively small additional cost for some employers while looking more considerable for others. It found that in 2020, one in four (23 per cent) workers were set to gain, but focusing on the largest sectors, 2.7m of those employees set to benefit (46 per cent of all those affected), work in just three high-level industries wholesale and retail, hospitality and support services. Hospitality in particular is set to face the most challenging circumstances of the sectors considered, with the biggest increase to its wage bill at 3.4 per cent in 2020.
ABOUT THE EXPERTRebecca Smith
Rebecca is a reporter for Business Advice. Prior to this, she worked with a range of tech, advertising, media and digital clients at Propeller PR and did freelance work for The Telegraph.