The increased minimum wage is expected to protect the UK's lowest-paid workers
The Government’s plans to increase the minimum wage
to £6.08 per hour have raised concerns for many business owners due to the current shortage of jobs.
The national minimum wage increase will take place in October and will be the first time the minimum wage in the UK has been above £6 per hour.
The changes have drawn criticism from small businesses who are most likely to be affected by the changes. Larger companies already tend to pay their staff above the minimum wage for the majority of roles. Many small companies are having trouble creating new jobs due to the economic conditions – up to 20 percent of SMEs expect to cut employee numbers
Director-general of the British Chambers of Commerce
David Frost said the wage increases are coming at the wrong time, adding: “With over a million unemployed, the priority has to be getting people back into the job market. Youth unemployment is at a record high and we can't afford to price young people out of work. It's clear from speaking to businesses that a significant number are having to freeze wages in 2011. These changes will be a barrier to job creation, and ultimately economic recovery."
The Government have argued that the move will benefit almost 900,000 people and protect the lowest-paid workers.