The British Retail Consortium has welcomed today’s government decision to increase the National Minimum Wage by 1.2 per cent. The increase will take the adult minimum wage from £5.73 to £5.80 per hour when it is introduced this October.

In its evidence to the Low Pay Commission, the British Retail Consortium said this year’s increase must be no more than 1.5 per cent.

Calling the outcome “The right decision for these difficult times”, BRC director general Stephen Robertson added:  “The best protection for wages is preserving jobs to keep people working and earning not handicapping employers with excessive new costs.  

“1.2 per cent strikes a common sense balance between helping low-paid workers and enabling retailers to maintain, and where possible, increase job opportunities.”

The BRC pointed out that over the last two years employers have also had to bear the cost of an increase in annual leave entitlement from 20 to 24 days and, since April 2009, 28 days.