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Private Sector expresses worry over the implications of Gov’t’s decision to declare a national minimum wage next month – 18th Jun 2013

shot0002The new national minimum wage of 35,000 dollars a month is set to take effect next month.

But the Private Sector Commission is not altogether happy, including over the fact that the Government did not consult with the Commission on the increase.

While the Commission has welcomed the move by the Government, it believes the crucial issue will affect not only employers but the sustained livelihood of thousands of employees.

In a press statement, the Commission stated that the short period of one month’s notice given for employers to implement the new order is unfair.

According to the Commission, for many employers, including security firms and exporters, who have contracts with foreign firms, the lack of adequate notice means that they would have already negotiated contracts based upon the old wage rates and are not now in a position to renegotiate those contracts.

The Commission pointed out that a number of employers, particularly those in the garment industry, which have to compete with countries such as China, Bangladesh and the Dominican Republic, are now faced with the prospect of laying off  workers in order to avoid the collapse of their businesses.

Calls are now being made by the Commission for at least the Government contract bidders to be allowed to renegotiate with the new national minimum wage in mind.

Another concern of employees is the new provision for a forty-hour work week to be restricted to five days.  The Commission notes that most employers have been complying with a forty-hour work week, but spread out over a five and a half day week.

The Private Sector body has indicated that for many employers the new order means that work on Saturday is now no longer an option leading to a end of operations on those days.

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