Research shows 76% of industry firms have failed to make provision for the rise in the statutory minimum wage happening today

Construction firms are ill prepared for today's rise in the national minimum wage, according to new research.

Bibby Financial Services has revealed that despite the publicity surrounding the planned increase, many construction firms have done nothing to prepare for it.

The data shows that 76% of construction firm owners and managers in the UK have failed to make any provisions, with 16% waiting to think about the statutory minimum wage rise after it has happened.

The government claims that more than 1 million people will benefit from the rise, with the rate for adults aged 22 and over increasing by 3.8% to £5.73 from today.

Of those firms in the construction industry that have prepared for the rise, some 10% are looking to cut costs elsewhere in their business to pay for it. Nearly one-third (32%) regard the government move as putting more pressure on businesses through legislation, while 7% say it will cripple their business.

However, not all construction firms object to the rise, with 45% of business owners and managers saying that the legislation does not got far enough and that many UK construction workers are still not paid fairly.

David Robertson, global chief executive of Bibby Financial Services, said he understood that owners and managers were bombarded with red tape and that many smaller firms in the industry “struggle to keep up with the ever-changing legislative landscape”.

But he added: “This is a serious legal issue. Those employers who fail to comply with the national minimum wage regulations face substantial fines and possible criminal proceedings. It is vital that construction firms get up to speed on the legislation as soon as possible, before it is too late.”