Gov’t willing to ‘tweak’ but not change minimum wage order – Luncheon

While the administration is willing to “tweak” to allow for different perspectives of those employers affected by the implementation of the Minimum Wage Order, it is not prepared to alter the core features of the legislation to appease anyone, Head of the Presidential Secretariat Dr Roger Luncheon said yesterday.

In a press release, the Government Information Agency (GINA) pointed out that the core features of the new Minimum Wage Order stipulate that all workers are to work five days a week, eight hours a day and earn $35,000 a month, at the minimum.

The release noted that there have been a few companies that have been sluggish in the implementation of this new order.

It said the decision by government to implement a national minimum wage with effect from July 1, last was expected to result in a higher standard of living, in addition to increased wages for approximately 31,000 workers.

It noted too that minimum wage was implemented in 2012 for shopkeepers, fuel station attendants, restaurant workers and bar employees, but that this move failed to cater adequately for other vulnerable groups, hence the new minimum wage.

According to the release, Luncheon said government is “willing to open the door to discourse to those (companies) who are aggrieved by the implication of five days a week, eight hours a day average and $35,000 a month, but not in a way to do injury to the main thrust of the Minimum Wages Order.”

The release pointed out that under the new wage measure, no worker should be paid less than $202 per hour, $1,616 daily, $8,080 per week, or $35,000 per month. “With 40 hours per week catering for a five- day work week, should workers be required to work beyond the stipulated work week, they have to be paid overtime in accordance with the various labour laws of the country,” the GINA release said.

It said that in January, government established a ministerial team to work to fine-tune the necessary procedures that would facilitate the establishment of a national minimum wage.

It said too that according to Luncheon, government is assiduously pursuing respect for the order and is depending on the Ministry of Labour and employees everywhere to be vigilant and inform government about those employers who callously disregard the provisions of the order.

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