Labour Ministry to push for approval of private sector minimum wage increase

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Minister of Labour Joseph Hamilton

Minister of Labour, Joseph Hamilton has announced that the National Tripartite Committee (NTC) deliberating on salary increases for the Private Sector is expected to meet within the next week to discuss the 2019 proposal of $60,000 as the new private sector minimum wage.

The National Tripartite Committee (NTC), which comprises representatives of the labour movement, the Private Sector and the Government, at its meeting in April 2019, had agreed to hike the national private sector minimum wage to $60,000 per month.

The increase was supported by all the constituents but was never implemented by the then Labour Department of the Social Protection Ministry.

However, Labour Minister Joseph Hamilton told reporters during a virtual press conference on Monday that he advised the Chief Labour Officer to urgently convene a meeting of Committee to finalise the proposed increase.

The Minister also stated that the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic would have to be taken into account when the NTC reconvenes to finalise the proposal.

He added that mechanisms would have to be put in place to ensure that the parties can stick to the initial agreement in light of the pandemic.

“When the Tripartite Committee meets very urgently … from the private sector perspective, that will be put on the table and we will have to discuss it to see how best we can keep the gentleman’s agreement that the three entities had regarding this matter since 2019 and we bring it to conclusion,” Minister Hamilton said.

The Private Sector minimum wage was last increased in 2017 from $35,000 to $44,200.

The Public Sector minimum wage currently stands at $70,000.