Employer perspectives on the future of the Minimum Wage

by Douglas White, Head of Advocacy
  • Our nationally representative employer polling finds an overall majority of support for increasing the Minimum Wage: 54% of employers support the Government’s planned increases up to 2024, with only 9% opposed.
  • However, employers with larger numbers of low paid workers, as well as sectors hardest hit by the Coronavirus, are more concerned about a negative impact from planned increases on their business.
  • Over half (55%) of employers with over a quarter of workers currently paid less than £10.50 an hour (which is the Minimum Wage 2024 target) said a planned increase to this level would negatively impact their business. 41% of hospitality and leisure and 38% of retail employers said this.
  • 15% say they would hire fewer members of staff, potentially intensifying work for staff who remain as well as damaging employment levels.
  • 10% would increase the use of temporary or flexible contracts, which are correlated with lower worker wellbeing.
  • 10% would look to reduce staff benefits such as bonuses, breaks and discounts.
  • Our survey found 37% of employers want additional help from government to invest in skills and training.
  • 33% favour a temporary reduction in national insurance contributions.
  • Around three in ten employers wanted more advice and support from government to remain compliant (31%) and successfully adapt (30%) to an increasing minimum wage.
  • Just one in six (17%) of employers said they did not think government should provide additional support to businesses.

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