The Low Pay Commission has launched its consultation on the level of the UK’s minimum wage and National Living Wage rates for 2017-18.

In the consultation, the Commission will consider the target given to it by the Chancellor of increasing wages to 60% of median earnings by 2020. The Commission is also looking for views on the impact that the proposed alignment of the Living Wage and Minimum Wage increases in April 2017.

Evidence submitted by ACS to the Low Pay Commission in 2015 showed that 65% of retailers reported that they would have to cut working hours or staff levels as a result of the introduction of the National Living Wage, with 62% planning to delay or cancel investment plans in their store.

ACS chief executive James Lowman said: “The convenience sector is currently facing significant increases in employment costs, not just through wage increases but also as a result of the introduction of Automatic Enrolment Pensions and the Apprenticeship Levy.

“Retailers cannot continue to absorb hikes in both the Living Wage and Minimum Wage without other areas of their business suffering as a result. We are extremely concerned about the impact on retailers in April 2017, when retailers will be faced with the third wage increase in their business in the space of 12 months and will be urging the Commission to reconsider its plans.”

ACS will be responding to the consultation in due course, and is also encouraging retailers to meet with members of the Low Pay Commission at their stores to show them the impact that Living Wage and Minimum Wage increases are having on their business.