Jamaica to increase minimum wage by 11 percent
Weekly paid workers in Jamaica to earn more from the start of September.
KINGSTON, Jamaica, Thursday, July 26, 2012 – In the face of continuing economic hardship, the government of Jamaica is pushing forward with its plans to guarantee wage earners higher pay.
Minister of Labour and Social Security Derrick Kellier has announced that, from September 3, the national minimum wage will be increased from JAM$4,500 to $5,000 per 40-hour work week.
He said the 11 per cent increase is as a result of recommendations from the Minimum Wage Advisory Commission.
The National Minimum Wage Advisory Commission, which held consultations with the public on the matter earlier this month, comprised human resource/industrial relations manager Sylvester Castro, chairman, and Bernita Locke, employers' representative, and Danny Roberts, head of the Hugh Lawson Shearer Trade Union Education Institute at Mona.
Also effective from September 3, the minimum wage for industrial security guards, which is now JAM $6,655, will be increased to $7, 320.50 per 40- hour work week, representing an increase of 10 per cent.
Kellier made these announcements as he contributed to the 2012/13 Sectoral Debate in Gordon House earlier this week.
“This is evidence of our attempt at improving the capacity for productivity improvement of our workers in all categories, and for creating the space for decent work and social protection,” the minister said.
Providing a breakdown of the new rates for industrial security guards, the minister informed that their laundry allowance will be increased from JAM$30.25 to$ 33.30 per hour; firearm allowance will be raised to JAM$36.60 per hour, up from $33.28; and dog holder’s allowance will be increased from JAM$22.39 to $24.63 per hour. Life insurance remains at JAM$2 million double indemnity.
According to reports in the Observer, the measures announced aligned with the suggestion by Jamaica Employers' Federation president Wayne Chen that a JAM$500 per week increase, while not being ideal, would balance against current financial constraints.
However, the security companies reportedly strongly resisted an increase during the consultations.