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The National Minimum Wage Advisory Commission is looking to complete its regional consultations and submit its report to Government for review by the first quarter of 2023.
The consultations, which are currently under way are aimed at garnering suggestions and feedback as the Commission seeks to review the national minimum wage as well as the minimum wage for industrial security guards.
Chairman of the Commission, Dr. Ronald Robinson, said the information garnered from the discussion sessions will be useful when the body deliberates to compile its report.
“We are just working assiduously to be able to provide this report to the Government of Jamaica, hopefully by the end of the year, early next year,” he said.
“We’re aware of what is happening in the world, and we are aware of what is happening in Jamaica. Cost of living is high and so we know there is some urgency, and even by the feedback given, we know that persons are very interested and keen in this particular process, because they know that at the end of it, they can gain some improvement in their lives,” Dr. Robinson said.
He was speaking with JIS News at the second in the series of consultations held at the Almond Tree Restaurant in Ocho Rios, St. Ann, on Wednesday (July 27).
Dr. Robinson said he is pleased with Wednesday’s session.
He said the discussion indicated that the society “is ahead of us in terms of the minimum wage” with some companies already paying workers above the limit.
Dr. Robinson told JIS News that there was consensus among employers for the national minimum wage to be increased to between $12, 000 to $15, 000 per week.
He pointed out, however, that in making its recommendation, the Commission will need to strike “a delicate balance”, as many employees are also employers who hire persons to work in their home as nannies and helpers.
“So, there is that reality that we, as persons who are deliberating, have to take into consideration too,” he noted.
The Minimum Wage was last increased by 28.5 per cent on April 1, 2022, from $7,000 to $9,000 per 40-hour work week or from $175 to $225 per hour, while the minimum wage for industrial security guards moved from $9,700 to $10,500 per 40-hour work week or from $242.50 to $262.50 per hour.
The National Minimum Wage Advisory Commission consists of representatives from the Ministry; the Jamaica Employers’ Federation (JEF), representing employers; and the Jamaica
Confederation of Trade Unions (JCTU), representing the workers.
It is responsible for obtaining and recording information about wages and remuneration, conditions of work and other factors affecting the circumstances of employment.