Leading UK companies such as Tesco and B&Q are planning to slow their recruitment drives as the new National Living Wage comes into force next month.
The moves of these top British companies are also mirrored in smaller firms, as they act to trim budgets before the increase takes effect in April.
Whitbread, the firm that owns a whole host of coffee shops, such as Costa and employs 38,000 staff, told The Daily Mail, that the company faces a bill of £20 million a year in order to pay for the Living Wage. Representatives from the firm went on to hint that it may not be able to afford to take on the full 3,500 workers it typically recruits each year.
The retailer Next also told the Mail that it plans to charge customers more to cover the estimated £27 million cost of giving many of its 29,000 staff the Living Wage. Tesco has committed to paying its half a million strong workforce the increased wage, but at the same time it plans to axe overtime and night working rates. There may also be job cuts.
At B&Q double pay on Sundays and bank holidays will be scrapped, while drivers of fork lifts and other dangerous machinery will lose their right to additional pay, as will a number of long-serving staff.