Tue | Oct 17, 2017

Proposal for employers to get 2-month grace period on new minimum wage payments

Published:Sunday | July 16, 2017 | 12:39 PM
Chairman of the Minimum Wage Advisory Commission, Silvera Castro (right), in discussion with president of the Union of Clerical, Administrative and Supervisory Employees (UCASE), Vincent Morrison at the final session in a series of islandwide consultations on the national minimum wage at the North Street Offices of the Ministry of Labour and Social Security in downtown Kingston, on Thursday.

It has been proposed that employers be given a two-month period to review their budgets before being required to start paying the new minimum wage when it takes effect.

This was the recommendation of chairman of the Minimum Wage Advisory Commission, Silvera Castro, who said employers would need adequate time to make their own adjustments in order to comply with the adjustment in the minimum wage.

Silvera was addressing the final in a series of islandwide consultations on the national minimum wage, at the North Street Offices of the Ministry of Labour and Social Security in downtown Kingston on Thursday.

The outcome of the consultations will inform a report to be submitted by the Minimum Wage Advisory Commission to portfolio Minister, Shahine Robinson, by the end of August or early September.

The minister will then take the report to Cabinet for approval, after which it will be presented to the House of Representatives.

In the meantime, Manager of the Human and Community Development Unit in the Planning Institute of Jamaica (PIOJ), Steven Kerr, proposed a seven per cent increase in the national minimum wage.

This would see minimum-wage earners receiving an additional sum of $434 per 40-hour workweek.

Other participants at the meeting suggested increases ranging between seven and 10 per cent.

In 2016, the national minimum wage was increased from $5,600 to $6,200 for a 40-hour workweek.

The minimum wage for industrial security guards was also increased from $204.97 per hour to $221.35 per hour for a 40-hour work week.