KBzine: the original kitchen and bathroom industry e-news - since 2002
28th January 2021
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Welcome to the
Today’s the day that the National Living Wage is introduced, increasing the pay of millions of the UK’s lowest paid workers (reportedly one in three people will benefit) in by far the biggest compulsory rise that’s been seen since the National Minimum Wage was brought in, back in April 1999.
While it has long been felt by many that taxes collected from better-off workers should not have been used to subsidise the wages of the low paid through tax credits, enabling some of the more successful companies to increase profits through not paying their workforces a living wage, there are other companies that would have struggled – and still will – to pay what’s being demanded of them.
So what’s the answer?
Many have said that they will have to lay people off or reduce the opportunities for overtime work that may be paid at a higher than normal rate, to balance out the wage bill to manageable levels. Others are saying that they will have to reduce benefits in some way, perhaps by cutting the length of breaks or even holidays, or by reducing bonuses or altering commission structures to make it harder for staff to reach targets.
Many recent studies have shown that company perks do more to promote loyalty and improve employee satisfaction than pay rises, so cutting perks is unlikely to be beneficial. It may encourage the most valuable members of the workforce to seek employment elsewhere and thus increase costs through the need for recruitment and the subsequent training of new members of the team. Staff turnover can also damage the business more subtly, with the lack of continuity and valued business relationships that are broken as a result, perhaps making clients consider switching to a different supplier.
We, in the UK, are often slated for our lack of productivity and it is through addressing this issue that many see as being the best way of coping with higher wage bills and improving the company in other ways as a result.
The Chartered Institute of Personnel & Development has, I believe, a good take on the best way forward. You can read its statements below – and if you have any comments on the suggestions made, or ideas that you’d like to share with KBzine’s readers, we’d love to learn about them
18th March 2016