It was controversial, this 7% increase in minimum wage for those over 25. Those in favour see it as a boost to the low-paid; small businesses fear spiraling costs, such as the redundancies they may be forced to make, which will of course affect the low paid as much as employers.
We are where we are. As this article shows, as long as employers think creatively and keep communication lines open, it may also be possible to reap some benefit from these changes. But whatever changes are made, be they redundancies or contractual variations, be careful to follow the correct procedures or you could face yet further costs.
Consider changing staff hours, or hiring new staff with more flexible hours in mind. Staff being paid a little more may become more productive, so this could work. However, be sure to run any changes to your existing employee’s contracts by them first and get written agreement.