On Sunday, prime minister Theresa May announced her plans to extend workers’ rights ahead of the general election in June.
During the Conservative party manifesto announcement May promised to keep all workers’ rights that are currently guaranteed by EU law. Alongside this she made promises to increase worker representation at the boardroom level and protect pension plans.
In response to May’s speech, the British Retail Consortium’s employment and skills policy advisor Fionnuala Horrocks-Burns said: “Retailers will work with the next government to ensure the retail jobs of the future are as attractive, accessible and as well-remunerated as possible.
“With new jobs demanding new skills across the industry, providing retailers and their workforces with certainty ahead of the Brexit negotiations is a welcome step forward.
“On wages, it is important the Low Pay Commission retain their independence and recommend pay increases that are manageable for the whole economy.
“Retailers support the National Living Wage and continue to work hard to raise pay across the industry but increasing pay without considering wider economic conditions is unsustainable.
“The ‘people agenda’ is front and centre of the retail industry. Retail businesses employ a variety of different models to ensure the views of their workforces are heard by their board.
“Strengthening this voice is a positive step to support employee engagement and productivity but there must be flexibility in how individuals’ businesses do this in practice.”