Fresh from the fight in Scotland Ed Miliband has decided, thanks to a eureka moment while talking to a member of Burger King staff, that the National Minimum Wage is too low. So he has pledged that a new Labour government will make sure it is increased from the rate due on 1st October this year of£6.50 to £8.00. This sounds pretty good for employees and a bit of a problem for employers until you see that he intends to make this change over 5 years and the target date for £8.00 is 2020.
We are not looking at tiny increase though, to reach this target would need something over a 4% increase each year and if you add that to the 3% that employers will have to find for pensions if they are taken up, the cost to employers becomes substantial.
Of course, there is still no talk of making a regional National Minimum Wage and £6.50 in London is considerably lower in percentage terms than it would be further north. Perhaps it would be more sensible to regionalise wages rather than try to make onsite suit all.
However, it remains to be seen what other promises the Labour party make for employees if they manage to get the reigns of Westminster.