(Department of Public Information) – Discussions are underway to increase the minimum wage in the private sector to $60,000, even as consideration is given to how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected businesses. Minister of Labour, Hon. Joseph Hamilton made this disclosure during an exclusive interview with DPI on Tuesday.
Under the APNU+AFC Government, a tripartite committee was responsible for reviewing the matter of increasing the private sector’s minimum wage. The committee had recommended an increase to $60,000 from the current $44,200 a month.
Minister Hamilton said while he is comfortable with the recommendation, the tripartite committee has not met since March. However, there are plans to reconfigure and re-establish the committee with assistance from Chief Labour Officer, Mr. Charles Ogle.
Minister Hamilton said the downturn in business was discussed in his engagement with the private sector.
“To be fair, I have to take the [COVID-19 impact] into consideration…What I can say is that the minimum wage will be raised. The question is should or can we do it now and how will it impact more workers who are working in the private sector?” he said.
Many private sector entities were forced to dismiss some of their employees due to the pandemic. Discussions with stakeholders are underway to see how soon the minimum wage recommendation will take effect.