Coronavirus and the national living wage could be a deadly combination for low-paid jobs

Incredibly, while the Government was trying to lower retailers’ costs to keep them in business, it also went ahead in April with a 6pc real terms increase in the national living wage (NLW), to £8.72 per hour. This raised underlying wage bills just as businesses faced forced closures and demand downturns, the duration and longer-term effects of which are unclear.

This hike followed other large increases since this NLW was introduced in 2015. Prior to that the Low Pay Commission (LPC) advised on the minimum wage level, keeping a keen eye on preventing job losses and ensuring firms could afford

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