In photo above Minister of Labour and Social Security, Hon. Dr. Fenton Ferguson (left), listens to Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Colette Roberts Risden, during a recent meeting. Photo credit: JIS.
KINGSTON, Jamaica CMC – The Jamaica parliament has approved new minimum rates for workers here, with the opposition calling for the establishment of a minimum wage committee to deal with the issue.
Labour and Social Security Minister, Dr Fenton Ferguson, said, that employers who could afford to pay more than the minimum wage, should do so.
But the opposition Jamaica Labour Party’s (JLP) spokesman on Labour, Ruddy Spencer, said, the new increases fall far short of the realities workers face.
“The time has come when we should seriously establish a minimum wage committee to establish, once and for all, not only a minimum wage, but what can be regarded as a living wage,” he told legislators, on Tuesday.
The National Minimum Wage was last increased in January 2014, moving from J$5,000 to J$5,600 (One Jamaica dollar =US$0.008 cents) for a 40-hour work week.
Under the new wages that become effective from March 1, this year, Ferguson announced that, the national minimum wage will be increased to J$6,200 per 40-hour work week, or J$155 per hour.
The minimum wage for industrial security guards is to be increased from J$8,198 per 40-hour work week, while their laundry allowance has been increased from J$37.30 per hour to J$40.30 per hour, and their firearm premium allowance increases to J$44.30 per hour, up from $41.
The insurance coverage, payable on account of security guards killed or injured in the line of duty, has been increased from two million dollars to J$2.5 million.