Retailers fear above-inflation minimum wage increases being suggested to the Low Pay Commission this week could lead to further job losses in the sector.

The Trades Union Congress (TUC) has recommended that the commission implements an above-inflation increase of 6.4 per cent, but the British Retail Consortium (BRC) argued that 2 per cent would be more viable, with 3 per cent being the absolute maximum.

BRC head of campaigns Richard Dodd said: “The TUC figure is excessive. Given the range of cost pressures retailers are under, it would be wrong to add another one at a time when retailers are trying very hard to preserve jobs.

“All retailers are scrutinising costs very closely. If the costs of employing people rises excessively it will have an impact on existing jobs and job creation.”

The Low Pay Commission will not accept any more submissions after this week and will report to the Government in the new year.
Changes, which are likely to be revealed in February, will be implemented in October.