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Retail Trades

Volume 974: debated on Monday 26 November 1979

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asked the Secretary of State for Employment what are the percentage increases in minimum wages for the different categories of persons involved proposed by the Retail Trade (Non-Food) Wages Council (Great Britain) under the order dated 19 October; and what impact upon the rate of inflation such increases are likely to make.

[pursuant to his reply, 20 November 1979, c. 98): The percentage increases in minimum wages are within the following ranges, depending upon age and occupation of the workers, and the areas in which they are employed:

Retail Drapery, Outfitting and Footwear Trades: 5 per cent. to 5·8 per cent.
Retail Bookselling and Stationery Trades: 11·2 per cent. to 12·2 per cent.
Retail Furnishing and Allied Trade: 10·6 per cent. to 12·9 per cent.
These increases establish a new basic rate for a shop assistant in the provincial A area of £47·50 per week, which is now payable at 20 instead of 21. The increases relate to minimum rates not actual earnings. The impact upon the rate of inflation is likely to be relatively modest.