Brendan Barber has called for an increase to the minimum wageThe Trades Union Congress has called for the minimum wage to be put up to £6 an hour, an increase of 20p, in news which may interest HR professionals.

Ahead of its meeting with the Low Pay Commission, the group asserted that the increase could help to close the gender pay gap, as around two out of the three people the salary raise would benefit are women.

General secretary of the TUC Brendan Barber said: "It is predictable that some employer groups are saying that any increase in the minimum wage will threaten jobs and that £6 is too much."

However, he added that increasing the minimum wage has already helped thousands of UK families, without having a significant negative impact on jobs.

Indeed, Mr Barber asserted the effect of a further reasonable increase on employer pay bills will be "modest" and one that companies should find "easy to absorb".

According to a recent survey by Mercer, as companies struggle during the recession to hand out bonuses and pay increases, more firms are offering a choice of flexible benefits to employees.

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