We have submitted our response to the Low Pay Commission (LPC) consultation on the National Minimum Wage (NMW) and National Living Wage (NLW) for 2021/2022.
The evidence highlights our strong support of the principle of the NMW and NLW and stresses that, as with last year, the Commission must continue to consider the economic impacts of COVID-19 and Brexit when making its recommendations to government.
With this in mind, we are asking that any recommendations be approached in a manner that:
- Prioritises economic recovery from COVID-19 and Brexit.
- Makes increases to rates and changes to age thresholds incrementally, at a rate with which businesses can keep pace.
- Allows more time for businesses to negotiate a fair price within supply contracts.
- Is alert to the issue of maintaining pay differentials within businesses.
- Does not jeopardise the viability of domestic agricultural and horticultural production, particularly given its recently demonstrated critical importance to the nation’s food security.
NFU Vice President Tom Bradshaw, pictured above, said:
“With leaving the EU and working through a global pandemic, the environment in which farm businesses are working has and continues to change.
“While there are huge opportunities for growth, there are also significant shake ups that farmers and growers will have to navigate through, not least a completely new agricultural policy and a new immigration framework, so it is essential they are given time to adjust. And as farmers lose access to BPS and the government looks to strike free trade agreements with countries across the world, it is important that we don’t add unnecessary pressure for farm businesses.
“The NFU and its members can see the clear importance of NMW and NLW. The LPC’s recommendations need to reflect this alongside the importance of economic recovery, particularly in respect of crucial sectors like agriculture and horticulture. Indeed, the past year has shown just how important home-grown food is to the country.”