Cautious Approach Needed On Minimum Wage Rates – BBPA Submission

The British Beer & Pub Association has urged a cautious approach when it comes to increases in the National Minimum and National Living Wage rates, given economic uncertainties and the big increases in costs the industry is facing this year. The BBPA is summitting its evidence to the Low Pay Commission today.

The BBPA submission points out that the National Living Wage costs the industry around £34 million per year in 2016. The increase to £7.50 this year adds a further £52 million, giving a total additional staff cost of £86 million over the first two years of the NLW – an average of around £1,600 for every pub in the UK. In many companies and individual pubs, there have been further costs due to maintaining differentials, in terms of wage increases for other staff, as a result.

BBPA Chief Executive Brigid Simmonds comments:

“A cautious approach is certainly needed. Uncertainty surrounding Brexit and access to labour, plus significant new costs in other areas such as the four per cent rise in beer duty in the Budget, are having an impact on the sector.

“Auto enrolment pensions, business rates, and the apprenticeship levy rate are also adding to costs now, and will continue to do so. All these factors all need to be fully considered when setting NLW rates.”