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News: Invitation to Tender for research for the 2021 report and beyond

The Low Pay Commission is tendering for research into the effects of the National Living Wage and National Minimum Wage.

The Low Pay Commission (LPC) has launched an invitation to tender for research projects to inform recommendations on next year’s National Minimum Wage (NMW) and National Living Wage (NLW) rates. There are two separate open calls for projects, with deadlines on Thursday 11 March and Friday 12 March respectively.


This work is part of our ongoing remit to monitor the operation of the NMW and NLW, and to assess the impact of increases in the levels of those minimum wages. We carry out continuous evaluation of the impact of minimum wage upratings on the sectors and groups of workers most affected, and on the labour market more generally. To do this, we draw on a range of evidence to making our assessments, including research projects commissioned specifically to inform our recommendations. As in previous years, we wish to commission a number of new research projects to inform our future work. However, the onset of the pandemic and its continuing effects makes our assessment of the impact of minimum wages much more difficult than in previous years.

We are therefore keen to understand the impact of the recent unprecedented upheaval in the economy and the labour market caused by measures to control the global pandemic. This has affected some sectors, in particular many low-paying sectors, more than others. It has also disrupted many of the usual data sources upon which much of our standard analysis depends. The pandemic has, however, also led to the development of new data sources. We are therefore keen to consider tenders that can take advantage of these. In addition to the impacts from the pandemic, the UK began a new trading relationship with the EU on 1 January 2021 that will see significant changes in the way the UK trades. This will have different implications for low-paying sectors and minimum wage workers. We are therefore also keen to try and understand these developments.


With concerns about the pandemic and its impact on the labour market our usual data sources, we have broadened the coverage of our call for research this time. We would particularly encourage innovative use of new and existing sources of information to help us assess the impact of minimum wages in the UK. The evidence generated will inform our deliberations on the recommendations for future changes in the minimum wages.


In both of these open calls, we have identified a number of areas of research that might be particularly interesting but we would welcome any research that gives insight into the impact of the NMW, including the NLW. These insights will help inform our recommendations in our autumn 2021 Report and beyond.

Ngozi Aima

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