morrisons staff

The ACS has again stressed its concerns about how the national living wage will affect retailers, warning it will force many to scale back their business plans.

During an oral evidence session to the Low Pay Commission this week, ACS head of policy and public affairs Edward Woodall said 78% of staff working in the sector were aged over 25, so would be eligible to receive the new £7.20 rate from April.

He highlighted a recent survey of ACS members, which showed when wages rise above inflation 61% of retailers were forced to reduce staff hours; 62% delayed investment plans (62%) and 54% looked at changing pay structures.

The ACS Investment Tracker for June to August 2015 showed investment levels in the convenience sector had already fallen by 40%.

The ACS argued this was related to announcements on the living wage and plans to devolve Sunday trading powers to local authorities.