Northern Ireland

National Living Wage 'may encourage black market payments'

Notes and coins on a payslip Image copyright PA

The National Living Wage's introduction could mean an increase in black market payments to workers, a hospitality industry spokesman has said.

Many employers will have to increase salaries when the new £7.20 an hour measure comes into effect next April.

Colin Neill of Hospitality Ulster said it would have major implications for hotels and restaurants.

He told the BBC's Inside Business programme there was a risk of more workers being paid "cash-in-hand".

Mr Neill said that while the hospitality industry was "in a much more difficult place than others", various sectors were looking at "how we're going to deal with this and, actually, how can you pass on the cost".

Announced by Chancellor George Osborne in the Budget, the National Living Wage will be paid to both full-time and part-time workers aged 25 and above.

Initially, it will be set at £7.20 an hour, with a target of it reaching more than £9 an hour by 2020.

Inside Business is on BBC Radio Ulster and Radio Foyle at 13:30 BST on Sunday, and is available to listen to afterwards on the BBC iPlayer.

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