STORE cashiers could be increasingly replaced by robot checkouts as a result of minimum wage rises, an economic think tank has warned.
The Institute for Fiscal Studies says the minimum wage will hit £8.56 an hour by 2020 — up from £7.50 now.
It warns that will take in “routine” occupations such as store checkout operators — which are among the easiest and cheapest jobs for bosses to automate.
IFS economist Agnes Norris Keiller said the Government must closely monitor the impact of the minimum wage to ensure it does not encourage employers to opt for robots rather than people.
She said it would be a mistake to think that because the minimum wage has little impact on jobs now it will not do so at some point in the future.
Ms Norris Keiller added: “We do not know where that point is. The fact that the higher minimum will increasingly affect jobs that appear to be more automatable is an additional reason why careful monitoring is required.
“Higher rates, as proposed by Labour, would bring more employees in automatable jobs into the net.”