Minimum Wage to be Reviewed

The current minimum wage is to be reviewed and the Minimum Wage Advisory Commission is calling on persons to submit their recommendations.
Speaking with JIS News, member of the Advisory Commission and a representative of the Jamaica Employers’ Federation (JEF), Silvera Castro, noted that the review should be viewed as a national effort.
“We are urging persons to make their recommendations and make them early, because it makes no sense that you sit on the fence. We need everyone to participate,” he stressed.
The deadline for persons submitting recommendations is tomorrow (September 14), and these should be addressed to the Secretary, Minimum Wage Advisory Commission, Ministry of Labour, 1F North Street, Kingston.
Organizations are also asked to submit minimum wage recommendations; however, the deadline for submission is Monday, September 17, at 4:00 p.m. Recommendations should be submitted in writing. In making their submissions, Mr. Castro said that persons should also provide arguments supporting their recommendations.
“We expect them to support the figure with some thought as to why you would want an increase now or why there shouldn’t be an increase or why it should be at this level. This will assist us greatly in arriving at a final position,” explained Mr. Castro.
Jamaicans will also have another opportunity to participate in discussions on the minimum wage, as in October, the Advisory Commission will be holding regional consultations in Montego Bay, Ocho Rios, Mandeville, Kingston and St. Andrew.
The national minimum wage was increased in January of this year by 14 per cent, moving from $2,800 to $3,200 per 40-hour work week, while the hourly rate was moved from $70 to $80.
The new rates also resulted in the minimum wage for industrial security guards increasing by 13.52 per cent from $4,140 to $4,700 per 40-hour week, and the hourly rate moving from $103.50 to $117.50.
Allowances for industrial security guards went up, with laundry allowance moving from $20 per hour to $22 per hour; firearm allowance up from $21 per hour to $25 per hour; and dog handlers’ allowance up from $15 per hour to $17 per hour. In addition, life insurance for security guards moved from $1.2 million to $1.5 million, with double indemnity protection both during and outside of work hours.

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