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    ‘C-stores offer secure, local job roles’

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    UK’s convenience sector continues to deliver secure and flexible employment to 437,000 colleagues across the country, shows new evidence from ACS’ Employment Survey and ACS’ Colleague Survey.

    The survey shows that 98 per cent of colleagues working in the convenience sector are on permanent contracts and as a result 83 per cent of colleagues feel secure in their current role. The majority of colleagues are also drawn from the local community with 47 per cent walking to work with an average commute time of just 13 minutes per day.

    This evidence has been used to inform ACS’ submission to the Low Pay Commission on setting the National Living Wage rate in April 2025.  ACS has recommended that the Low Pay Commission take a cautious approach to future wage rates in 2025, now that the government has reached its median earnings target.

    ACS Chief Executive James Lowman said, “We are proud of the local, secure and flexible employment opportunities that we offer to people across the country. To maintain these employment opportunities we need the Low Pay Commission to recommend affordable rates that reward colleagues and allow local shops to continue to thrive and play their vital role in more communities than any other business sector.”

    ACS’ submission outlined that retailers have responded to rising wage rates by reducing the amount they invest in their business (53 per cent of stores), increasing prices (53 per cent), reducing staff hours (47 per cent), and taking lower profits/absorbing the costs (47 per cent).

    Lowman continued, “We have seen a period of unusually fast growth in the cost of products and energy, and higher interest rates for businesses borrowing to invest, at a time when consumers are ever more conscious of value. Decisions on statutory wage rates need to be sensitive to these challenges and in particular their impact on business investment. The Low Pay Commission has a difficult balance to strike and we hope our Employment Survey will help them to do this.”

    The full submission is available here

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