Mon | Dec 16, 2019

Recommendations on minimum wage to be submitted by January 2020

Published:Friday | November 22, 2019 | 12:26 PM
Chairman of the National Minimum Wage Advisory Commission, Dr Donald Robinson (centre) addressing the final minimum wage public consultation at the Ministry of Labour and Social Security’s in Kingston on November 20, 2019. Listening are President, Jamaica Employers’ Federation, David Wan, (left), and Vice President, Jamaica Confederation of Trade Unions, St Patrice Ennis - Contributed photo

Chairman of the National Minimum Wage Advisory Commission, Dr Donald Robinson, says recommendations on the national minimum wage and the minimum wage for security guards will be submitted to Labour and Social Security Minister, Shahine Robinson, before the end of January 2020.

Robinson said that deliberations on matters arising from the just-concluded public consultations are to begin next week, following which a report will be presented to Labour and Social Security Minister.

She will then make a recommendation to Cabinet that will, eventually, go to Parliament for approval.

Robinson was speaking to JIS News following the final public consultation at the Ministry’s 1F North Street offices in Kingston on Wednesday.

He said that the stakeholders, including the trade unions, the workers and the employees, all agree that the minimum wage needs to be adjusted.

“What is unanimous right across the board, both from the employers and from the workers, is that the current minimum wage is inadequate. So I think it is really what kind of increase and what will go into the increases and the percentages and all those things,” he noted.

Robinson said the consultation sessions, which were also held in St James, Manchester, Portland, and St  Ann, had “very good representation from a wide cross-section of individuals”.

“We have gotten invaluable information, presentations, and recommendations from varying groups that will definitely influence our deliberations in moving forward in preparing that report,” he said.

In June 2018, the Government, on the advice of the National Minimum Wage Commission, announced a 12.9 per cent increase in the national minimum wage from $6,200 to $7,000 per week.

In addition, security guards started receiving $9,700, up from $8,854 per week, reflecting a 9.6 per cent increase.

The new rates took effect on August 1, 2018.

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