The Low Pay Commission (LPC) will inform the government of its recommendations for changes to the National Minimum Wage (NMW) in February, ahead of the government's announcement in March 2008.
The Commission is considering changing the way in which the rate is set, such as tying future changes in the rate to an economic indicator such as inflation. Any recommended changes will come into force on October 1, 2008.
The Association of Convenience Stores (ACS) has emphasised the negative impact that any further increases would have on shops. ACS chief executive James Lowman said: "The effects of increases so far have been a reduction in the number of jobs in the sector and a reduced ability for retailers to invest and grow."
Independent Jonathan James, who was part of the ACS team at the face-to-face hearing with the LPC, added: "It was important for the Commissioners to hear first-hand from the independents. The decisions they make have a big impact on our trade."