FWD members provide around 68,000 jobs directly, in all regional of the UK. In addition, around 1.1m jobs in the supply chain – from manufacturers to shops – rely on the services of the wholesale sector.
FWD members support the National Minimum Wage (NMW) although members are concerned about the wider impact of frequent above-inflation rises in NMW.
Our report, Delivering Employment, outlines the added cost to our sector, and explores how wholesale distributors would be forced to cut jobs and services to meet the rises.
FWD engages with the Low Pay Commission to look at how the lowest-paid can be fairly rewarded without imposing costs on employers that would ultimately result in a reduction of head count.
FWD is quoted extensively in the Low Pay Commission’s 2022 Report which makes recommendations on NLW rates for April 2023.
On the labour market we stated that supply chain issues are being exacerbated by immigration restrictions. “Due to ‘the loss of temporary labour and English language requirements preventing labour being brought over to the UK on skilled workers visas has led to a shortfall in the supply chain.’”
On apprentices, an FWD survey found 86 per cent of members believe the Apprentice Rate was too low and did not use it; the same proportion said the rate should rise from April 2023.
On the path of the NLW, the report states: “FWD also supports either a freeze to the NLW for 2023 or no more than a 4 per cent rise. It reported that 75 per cent of its members were concerned about the proposed increases in 2023 and more than 75 per cent reported concern over the pro- posed 2024 increase, this is due to soaring costs in the sector and businesses facing economic uncertainty
“The FWD told us that over half of its members said the NLW age threshold should be lowered to 21 immediately, ‘the one caveat was that businesses should be given enough time to plan ahead if this was to be introduced’. This is because 86 per cent of members said they do not use the 21- 22 Year Old Rate as they tend to pay employees over the age of 18 the real living wage. ‘This is to avoid discrimination in pay if they are doing the same job.’”
The final report will be published in 2023.