STATEMENT BY DEPUTY PREMIER AND MINISTER FOR NATURAL RESOURCES AND LABOUR
DR. THE HONOURABLE KEDRICK D. PICKERING
MONDAY, JULY 4, 2016
“Increasing the Territory’s Minimum Wage”
In October of 2015, Cabinet reviewed and accepted the Minimum Wage Advisory Committee Report on the proposed new minimum wage; this report was subsequently tabled at the House of Assembly on 2nd November, 2015. The Attorney General was thereafter requested to draft the legal documentation to formally bring this minimum wage into force which will take effect on 1st October, 2016.
The new Minimum Wage payable for employment shall be $6.00 per hour.
After careful consideration the Cabinet decided to delay the coming into force of the new minimum wage to allow the business community time to implement the National Health Insurance. The Cabinet was also mindful that the implementation of both the Minimum Wage and the National Health Insurance at the same time may have created some unnecessary hardship on businesses.
This period of time between now and 1st October, 2016 gives businesses time to make the necessary adjustment and transition to the new minimum wage; it also gives us time for public awareness and education.
I would like to, once again, take this opportunity to thank the Minimum Wage Advisory Committee for working assiduously to provide a report that reflects a minimum wage grounded in comprehensive research. The Committee was chaired and co-chaired by Mr. Simon Potter and Mrs. Benedicta Samuels-Richardson, respectively. In addition to the Chair and Co-chair, the Committee had fifteen (15) other members: Mr. Roger Mathavious Jr., Mr. Louis Potter, Mrs. Roxanne Ritter Herbert, Ms. Anne Leonard, Mrs. Jeanette Black, Mr. Mario Smith, Mr. Commett Chalwell, Mr. Wilbert Fahie, Mr. Aaron Parillon, Mr. Bevin George, Mr. Wilbert Mason, Mr. Jeremiah Frett, Mr. Raymond Phillips, Mrs. Janice Rymer, and Ms. Marcia Smith.
I would also like to say a heartfelt thank you to:
- The business community for cooperating with the Committee and for remunerating employees at a rate that they thought was fair in absence of a legally established minimum;
- The community at large for coming out to the various town hall meetings, and calling in on the various radio and television shows. The information provided during these sessions made this a very worthwhile exercise; and
- The public servants who supported the committee in researching information needed for this exercise.
It was Pope John Paul 2 who said, that “a society will be judged on the basis of how it treats its weakest members.” I therefore submit to you that the buoyancy of the Territory’s economy will be a function of our collective efforts in ensuring that each and every member is remunerated at a level that is commensurate with the prevailing economic conditions. Thank you.