UKHospitality Reaction To National Living Wage Announcement

waitress-2376728_960_720Commenting on today’s announcement that the Government will aim to raise the National Living Wage to £10.50 per hour by 2024, UKHospitality Chief Executive Kate Nicholls said:

“The Chancellor’s announcement threatens a double whammy of a further unprecedented cost increase for employers and an adjustment down in terms of age, so we will need a clear regulatory framework with an independent review by Low Pay Commission. There needs to be a way to adjust NLW levels to react to economic changes; no fixed end point to achieving 66% median earnings and mitigation measures. These measures might sensibly include cutting employment allowance and NICs to help low paid workers keep more money and incentivise job creation.

“Hospitality is keen to attract British talent and part of that process will be to raise entry level wages. However, the cumulative costs of regulation and taxes over the past three years have wiped a third off the margins of hospitality businesses and this move, if marshalled in too quickly, will hurt business, damage jobs and not just stifle growth but reverse it. The Chancellor wants to be the party of the workers; the Prime Minister, the party of business – the reality is that this country and our economy need it to be both.”