Deputy Premier and Minister for Natural Resources and Labour, Dr. the Honourable Kedrick D. Pickering has announced that there was a recommendation for an increase in the Territory’s minimum wage.
In a statement made during the Fourth Sitting of the First Session of the Third House of Assembly held on Monday, November 2, Minister Pickering said that the recommendation to increase minimum wage from $4.00 per hour to $6.00 per hour was made by the Minimum Wage Committee led by Mr. Simon Potter.
The Minister stated the committee has recommended an upward adjustment in the minimum wage, which moves the Territory from the lowest of the Overseas Territories in this region to just below Turks and Caicos which is currently set at US$6.25 per hour.
Minister Pickering said that the Minimum Wage Committee decided to recommend a single minimum wage and allow the market forces to set the minimum in specific sectors of the economy. The identified benefits of an increase minimum wage are economic stimulus, decreased turnover rate and reduced expense for social programmes.
Honourable Pickering added that this recommendation was based on a broad spectrum of factors which influence economic conditions within the Territory. These factors include job growth and unemployment rates, the cost of living and an analysis of information obtained from public consultations and from relevant Government departments and statutory bodies.
The Minister further stated that the committee made other recommendations which include: that the minimum wage rate will be reviewed at least every five years, that the minimum wage be introduced within a reasonable time and that the Labour Department be provided with adequate resources to ensure compliance.
The Minimum Wage Committee is comprised of a Chairperson, Co-chairperson and 15 other members selected from central Government, employers and employees, the Virgin Islands Christian Council, youths, the construction industry, the hospitality industry and small and medium size enterprises.