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Minimum wage increase has limited impact

The above inflation rise for the National Minimum Wage (NMW) will not affect the recruitment of low-paid hospitality workers with increasing numbers of employers in the industry offering the Living Wage, said a recruiter. 
Mike Gardener, director of operations at hospitality and catering recruiter Berkeley Scott, told Recruiter minimum wage increases “almost go unnoticed”. 
He added: “Part of the problem with the minimum wage is that whatever it is people just regard it as the minimum, so they are still not necessarily happy with it.”
However, he said there was an increase in the numbers of employers prepared to adopt the Living Wage, which is £7.65 per hour and £8.80 per hour for London. “As part of our temporary business we supply to some places that have decided that everyone has to be paid the Living Wage,” he said. 
One of the challenges for organisations offering the Living Wage, however, is that the salaries of unskilled workers are starting to get closer to those of skilled employees, said Gardener. “We supply, chefs, waiters and kitchen porters and the London Living Wage is almost as much now as what we would pay some chefs per hour. You are going to have a situation where a porter is going to be getting the same payment as a chef.”
He added: “Just because the London Living Wage is £8.80 it doesn’t mean all the other rates have gone up incrementally.”
Yesterday’s [1 October] NMW rise to £6.50 per hour is the first real terms cash increase since 2008. It follows the recommendations from the independent Low Pay Commission (LPC) in March this year and the call for faster, affordable rate rises by business secretary Vince Cable. 
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