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CIPD calls for minimum wage freeze

As part of its manifesto for economic recovery, published today, the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) called for the freeze as an incentive for recruiters to start hiring again.

Small businesses, in particular, complain that regular increases in the low-pay barrier makes them less likely to hire inexperienced younger candidates.

The latest statistics show that the number of 16 to 24 year-olds out of work was 952,000 in the three months to October.

"We strongly welcome the steps the Government has taken to avoid the creation of a ‘lost generation’ in the UK," said John Philpott, CIPD chief economic adviser.

“But freezing the national minimum wage for younger workers is necessary to ensure that all this good work is not fatally undermined just as the economy begins to recover.

"Pay restraint is likely to be a feature of the year ahead as employers and employees continue to work together to minimise job losses. It is right that younger workers lucky enough to have jobs should play their collective part in helping maximise the chances for those who do not," Philpott added.

The group also said arbitrary retirement ages should be removed and that flexible working rights should be extended to all workers within three years.

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