Britain's new 'national living wage' could lead to employers slashing overtime, weekend pay, bonuses and benefits - meaning workers could be no better off despite getting a pay rise.
From today, all companies in Britain have to pay employees a new 'national living wage' of £7.20 an hour.
One million people will get a pay rise from 1 April, but companies including Tesco and B&Q have cut overtime pay, reportedly as a result of having to hand out more wages although they have denied the new pay threshold is behind it.
Whitbread, the owner of cafes including Costa, says it will no longer be able to recruit its usual 3,500 workers every year because of the change.
Employers are also likely to cut bonuses, raise prices and reduce recruitment, according to a report from the Resolution Foundation.
Today has also been dubbed 'national price hike' day, as the cost of council tax, stamp duty and some NHS payments jumps in line with the new tax year, The Daily Mail reported.
In the run-up to the national living wage's launch, some workers were concerned that they wouldn't be experiencing a better standard of living at all:
Katherine Chapman, the director of the Living Wage Foundation told The Huffington Post UK it "didn't support" moves to remove benefits, saying that bosses should be "responsible".
The Living Wage Foundation campaigns for a living wage calculated according to the cost of living - rather than based to the median wage like the Government's national living wage.
"We certainly wouldn't support that approach and point to the 2,300 accredited living wage employers who are already raising wages responsibly," Chapman told HuffPost UK.
"Good employers will innovate and look at how to invest in staff, use technology and redesign jobs to increase productivity and support higher pay.
"The employers we work with also report tangible business benefits from paying the higher living wage - lower turnover, higher quality of work and higher morale."
April 1 sees council tax is increase by up to 3.99% in England and Wales, while stamp duty is going up 3 percentage points for buy-to-let properties.
NHS prescription prices are being raised 20p to £8.40, while dental appointments on the NHS will cost 80p more, coming in a £19.70 which represents a 5% increase.
Water bills will increase by £2 to an average of £389 per household, and first class stamps have risen 1p to 64p this week, The Metro reported.
Here are the other prices that have gone up, or are set to:
- Air passenger duty will go up by near 3% for long-haul flights, and up from £71 to £73 for economy flights
- The cost of a filling at an NHS dentist has risen 5% to £53.90
- Mobile phone contracts are also set to get more expensive, with some monthly contracts going up for Three, O2 and EE customers.