ACS calls for Government to continue support beyond pandemic

ACS (the Association of Convenience Stores) has responded to an inquiry into jobs, growth and productivity after the pandemic, calling for the Government to ensure that support for local shops is extended beyond the pandemic to enable recovery and growth in the convenience sector.

The inquiry was launched by the House of Commons Treasury Select Committee to examine how the Government can reduce and mitigate damage to the labour market and how to improve productivity to support economic growth after the pandemic.

In its submission, ACS has made a number of key recommendations, including:
• Extending the timetable for the National Living Wage’s target to reach two-thirds of median earnings
• Mitigating the cost of wage increases via National Insurance Contributions (NICs)
• Ensuring that new employment regulations are targeted to avoid introducing unnecessary burdens on retailers
• Enabling modular learning to open up the apprenticeships system
• Supporting investment by incentivising the installation of ULEV infrastructure

ACS chief executive James Lowman said, “The impact of Covid-19 on individual stores varies greatly depending on trading location and local shops have welcomed the support that the Government has provided at each stage of the pandemic so far.

“Convenience stores provide local, flexible and secure jobs for around 412,000 people across the UK and it is vital that the Government continues to provide support to retailers to ensure that they are still able to trade beyond the pandemic.”