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Full review of minimum wage planned for 2019, technical review underway

A technical review of Cayman’s $6 an hour minimum wage is underway.
And according to the Premier’s Office a full review of the minimum wage is planned for 2019, but that does not mean there will be any changes.
The Office of the Premier said the Minimum Wage Advisory Committee recommended a full review every four years that includes reviewing whether $6 per hour is still appropriate.  At present, the Economics and Statistics Office is conducting an occupational wage survey. The preliminary report from that survey is expected to be ready in October and it will be used in the technical review. That review is expected to end in December.

We reached out to the Premier’s Office for an update on the minimum wage and whether there were plans to review it given the rising Consumer Price Index, here’s the full response:

A review of the Minimum wage is a priority of the Government and the Ministry of Human Resources & Immigration (“the Ministry”) was charged with conducting a technical review, with assistance from the Economic and Statistics Office (ESO).  The ESO is currently engaged in an Occupational Wage Survey (OWS). The preliminary report of the OWS is expected to be completed by the end of October 2018 and will assist with the review.  In addition, the most recent Labour Force Survey will also be available in the coming months and this may also assist the review of the minimum wage.

Following the completion of the OWS, the Ministry with the assistance of the ESO will then utilise the data, in aggregate form, to complete a review of the minimum wage. This technical review will be completed before the end of 2018.

However, as also recommended by the MWAC, a comprehensive review should occur every four (4) years, as this will require a review of the minimum wage fixing procedure and the minimum wage fixing criteria in order to identify reforms to improve the process and to ensure that the minimum wage is still effective. Therefore, the Ministry anticipates conducting a full review in  2019.

Additional information: In February 2015, the Minimum Wage Advisory Committee (MWAC) recommended that a review of the minimum wage by technical experts be conducted on an annual basis. However, as the MWAC noted in their report, this review may not result in an increase in the minimum wage on an annual basis, but rather it is to ensure that the minimum wage is serving its purpose.  The minimum wage came into effect on 1 March, 2016 and so its anniversary would have been the following March 2017, prior to the general election.

The MWAC also recommended that minimum wage reviews should not occur during an electoral year, but in between electoral cycles.  It also recommended that reviews are conducted once the most recent relevant statistics become available.

About the author

Reshma Ragoonath

Reshma Ragoonath

Reshma Ragoonath is a Trinidadian journalist with 18 years media experience with a strong background in print with her most recent stint at The Cayman Reporter. She has a BA in Mass Communications, as well as, an Associate degree in Journalism and Public Relations.

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