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News & Press: General

UKHospitality reaction to National Living Wage announcement

30 September 2019   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Pernille Thomsen
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Commenting 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.”

ENDS

Notes to editors 

  • UKHospitality is the trade body representing the UK’s hospitality sector, established following a merger approved in February 2018 between the Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers (ALMR) and the British Hospitality Association (BHA)
  • UKHospitality is the authoritative voice for over 700 companies, operating around 65,000 venues in a sector that employs 3.2 million people
  • The body speaks on behalf of a wide range of leisure and ‘out-of-home’ businesses, from FTSE 100 enterprises to niche groups and independent single-site operators
  • For the first time, the sector has a single voice bringing together businesses from all aspects of hospitality; coffee shops, hotels, serviced apartments, pubs, restaurants, leisure parks, nightclubs, contract caterers, entertainment, stadia and visitor attractions
  • Engaging with government, the media and the public, UKHospitality works to develop a robust case on how to unlock the industry’s full potential as the biggest engine for growth in the economy and ensure that the industry’s needs are effectively represented
  • The sector creates £130bn in economic activity and generates £39bn of tax for the Exchequer, funding vital services
  • Hospitality represents 10% of UK employment, 6% of businesses and 5% of GDP
  • Hospitality is the 3rd largest private sector employer in the UK; double the size of financial services and bigger than automotive, pharmaceuticals and aerospace combined

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