Business Secretary Vince Cable has been warned by the ACS about the dangers of political interference in the setting of the national minimum wage.

Cable believes that as signs of an economic recovery start to emerge, more needs to be done to make sure that the benefits of growth are shared fairly across the board. He has asked the Low Pay Commission to extend its expertise on labour conditions to help the government and business understand how to deal with the issue of low wages in the economy, in particular at what economic conditions would be needed to allow the National Minimum Wage to rise by more than current conditions allow.

James Lowman, ACS chief executive, said the National Minimum Wage at current levels was affecting jobs and growth among local shops. He stressed: "As the National Minimum Wage rate has increased, we have seen pay structures squeezed, investment decisions delayed and independent retailers taking on more hours themselves.

"The Business Secretary should not lose sight of the impact of increased employment costs on the everyday entrepreneurs who can drive the recovery by investing in communities up and down the country.

“The Low Pay Commission play a positive role in reviewing and evaluating the National Minimum Wage, taking into account all relevant factors and listening to evidence from businesses and employee groups. Politicians should let the Commission do their job."

Cable also announced a plan to regulate the use of zero hour contracts, especially exclusivity clauses whereby employees are prevented from working for another employer. ACS said it would respond to the consultation.