It’s only been two weeks since the introduction of the ″living wage″ of £7.20 an hour but already employers are attempting to claw back costs wherever possible.
B&Q has reportedly implemented the raise by cutting Sunday and Bank Holiday pay and bonuses, making some workers as much as £2000 a year worse off. Toyoda Gosei, a car parts manufacturer, has ended paid breaks. Morrisons, Tesco, Dunelm and Wilko are all cutting Sunday and overtime pay. Waitrose has ended higher Sunday and Bank Holiday rates for all new staff.
A nationally-imposed higher minimum wage should not result in losses for workers, but the government has no plans to stop employers trying to get round the changes. Businesses are getting a £15 billion tax break to ″afford″ the wage increase, with corporation tax falling from 28% in 2010 to 17% in 2020. Meanwhile top bosses are still getting millions of pounds in pay and bonuses. Shareholders in BP recently voted down a pay package of £14 million for chief executive Bob Dudley — but the vote is only advisory. Such bosses are implementing cuts to workers overtime pay and breaks to ″afford″ the minimum wage increase while happily taking home millions for themselves.