Following Cabinet’s approval, the $60,000 national minimum will take effect on July 1 – a move that is expected to benefit about 10% of private sector employees.
An order in the official gazette, signed by Labour Minister Joseph Hamilton, officially confirms the increase for workers countrywide. It has been made under the Labour Act, in exercising the powers of Section 8.
It indicates that the minimum rate of wages payable to an employee shall not be less than $347 per hour or $2,776 per day. This translates to $13,880 weekly and $60,147 monthly.
The private sector’s minimum wage was last increased in 2017, from an hourly rate of $202 to $255, taking the monthly wage from $35,000 to the current $44,200.
With the new increase set to take effect in the new month, the order stipulates that if a worker is receiving wages higher than prescribed in the Order, the employer is required to continuing paying the said worker at that higher rate. It should not be reduced on the account of the new Order.
Moreover, the normal work week shall be 40 hours, and shall not exceed five days per week and any hours of work beyond the standard working period shall be paid at the rates set out in the Factories Acr and the Labour Act; or any other law or collective bargaining agreement in force.
It has been explicitly stated that any employer that contravenes the provisions of the Order shall be liable upon summary conviction to a fine of $50,000 for the first offence. For any second or subsequent office, they will be slapped with a fine of $100,000 or imprisonment for one month.