wages

Bar work tops list of those not getting living wage

By Emily Sutherland contact

- Last updated on GMT

Bar work tops list of those not getting living wage

Related tags: Living wage, Minimum wage

Bar work has topped the list of professions failing to pay a living wage, with 90% of bar staff not paid enough to reach an ‘acceptable standard of living.’

Waiters and waitresses came in second on the list, with 80% not paid a living wage.  The Living Wage Foundation says the UK living wage should be £.7.85 an hour, and £9.15 in London.

Chancellor George Osborne’s last budget caught the trade off guard with the unexpected introduction of a compulsory new living wage of £7.20 per hour for workers aged over 25 from April next year. By 2020, the Government wants the figure to reach £9 per hour.

The shock introduction of a new national living wage (NLW) has come under fire from Tim Taylor boss Tim Dewey.

Dewey said that while he supported the move in principle, the Government’s “rushed” approach to the policy meant they had failed to take account of the impact on businesses.

He said: “We’ve been working through the numbers here and it is quite a significant impact. People tend to focus on the rise in the minimum wage but if you’ve got somebody with extra responsibilities who is on a slightly higher wage than the minimum, they will want their wages to go up too. It actually has a knock on through the whole salary structure.

“It was surprise from a government who tend to favour a free market.”

The policy has proved divisive, with some licensees saying they are concerned about the added pressure on businesses, particularly those already facing tight margins.

Employment group Manpower said last month that employers were already scaling back hiring plans ahead of the new wage rate, and that some were looking to hire under 25’s to avoid the extra costs.

Wetherspoon’s boss Tim Martin has been a vocal opponent of the plans.

However, several pub companies including Brewdog and Faucet Inns and award-winning gastropub the Truscott Arms are already paying higher wages.

The Government has warned that the policy will be ‘robustly’ enforced, with the HMRC given an increased budget to help catch businesses flouting the rules.

Related topics: Legislation

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