New minimum wage in line with current market situation and realities of Dominicans – Blackmoore

Minister for National Security and Home Affairs, Rayburn Blackmoore has said that new minimum wages to take effect from September 1, 2021, are the results of a review which was aimed at “bringing the current order in line with the current market situations and realities of Dominicans.”

“You may recall the government of Dominica had given the undertaken to review the minimum wage across all wage categories for the express purpose of making the required adjustments,” the Minister said when announcing the changes recently. “To this end, the Cabinet of Dominica has taken a decision to increase the minimum wage of the Commonwealth of Dominica effective September 1st, 2021.”

According to Blackmoore, the setting of a minimum wage should ensure maximum benefit to the persons who will be affected.

“It is also important to note that the Commonwealth of Dominica does not have a fixed minimum wage across all wage categories; instead the minimum wage is set per category and seeks to cover the most vulnerable categories of workers.

In the existing category of workers as covered by the 2008 minimum wage order, the increase in wages are as follows:

Agricultural workers and labourers in the agricultural sector from $4.00 per hour to $7.50 per hour, daily paid workers and tourism workers from $4.50 per hour to $7.50 per hour,  juveniles/trainees from $3.60 per hour to $5.67 per hour, cashiers/ receptionists from $5.50 per hour to $7.25 per hour, sales persons from $5.50 per hour to $7.25 per hour. Shop assistance from $4.50 per hour to $6.75 per hour, home assistance with meals from $125 per week to $200 per week, home assistance without meals $143.75 per week to $250 per week and living-in home assistance from $142.50 per week to $220 per week.

He explained that the new minimum wage order will encompass the already existing category of workers covered by the 2008 order and will  be extended to include new categories.

The new categories with the corresponding rates include cooks, $7.25 per hour, bartenders $7.24 per hour, servers $7.24 per hour, room attendance $7.24 per hour, grounds men $7.24 per hour, public area assistance $7.24 per hour, vehicle drivers/ messengers $7.50 per hour, security guards $8.00 per hour and other unskilled workers such as labourers in the construction industry and handymen, $7.50 per hour.

The last minimum wage review was undertaken in 2007  and according to Blackmoore, it resulted in the passing of the 2008 order which covered a specific number of wage categories, namely agricultural workers, daily paid workers, unskilled workers, domestic workers, clerks, receptionists, salespersons and cashiers.

“Therefore, this long-overdue minimum wage review was untaken to ensure that the economic realities of the present day reality were adequately captured,” the minister stated.

He said the Ministry of National Security and Home Affairs consulted with  all stakeholders in undertaking  this minimum wage review inclusive of the appointment of a minimum wage advisory board in 2009, “a market survey to assess the current wage undertaken by the labour division and consultation with international partners such as the International Labour Organization.”

A tripartite committee, consisting of representatives of the private sector, the government and the unions, was also appointed in 2019 to review the minimum wage and to make recommendations to the minister responsible for labour. The committee presented its report to government in 2020.

“It is our view, therefore, that this extension of workers covered by the minimum wage order, will ensure better treatment for these category of workers who were among the most vulnerable of workers but were not covered by a minimum wage order,” Blackmoore noted

He said it is important to note further that because the last minimum wage review undertaken in Dominica was 14 years ago, this minimum wage review for the Commonwealth of Dominica on bringing the current order in line with the current market situations and realities of Dominicans was in fact needed.

Blackmoore believes that this minimum wage review may be seen as a first step of an annual or bilateral review undertaken to refine the minimum wage and to monitor the effects of the new minimum wage under the relevant parties.

“It is important to note also that the minimum wage as outlined in the minimum wage order, is not the actual wage, but it is the lowest amount employers can pay employees for the category of work mentioned in the order,” he explained.

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12 Comments

  1. Mark
    August 23, 2021

    On the radio some weeks ago wasn’t there an announcement that the wage increase start date would be brought forward to August 01 2021?

  2. Daniel
    July 13, 2021

    The raised is good. But what should be done is drop the cost of living. The little increase still won’t help. The cost of living is just still way too much.

    I still don’t trust anything the government do these days. Cause what ever to do has some reasons to benefit them in return not really the people. Cause I remember when the minister intentional lower the pay of clear habor workers for $20 per hour to about $8 per hour I think. Madness! So they are not interested about people’s pay and definately not interested in people’s survival! So whatever they are trying to do has something at best interest for them.

  3. jaded
    July 12, 2021

    Why does this have to be so complicated? Why so many different minimum wages. There is even a $7.24 and a $7.25! Ridiculous!! There should be no more than 3 wages. Way too many.

  4. Wages
    July 12, 2021

    While raising the minimum wages of individuals is a very good thing, the current economic reality of this country dictates that the process should have been more thoroughly researched and thought about before being activated. I believe that the levels mentioned might prove to be a hardship for the many small businesses that are already suffering in this depressed economy. This sudden and high percentage increase may cause the small businesses to raise prices to be able to meet these new wage levels, or even possibly downsize, or close altogether. Either one of those results will be a huge negative for the economy. Wage increases normally should follow a positive increase in economic numbers and performance. Maybe the huge business places are making money and can afford to meet these new obligations, but the many small businesses are going to have a hard time and we may experience the loss of quite a number of small businesses. People will think they are better off, but it will be worse

  5. If we knew better
    July 12, 2021

    Watch a rise in unemployment. Not much has changed. They may expect an increase in spending locally, but you may see an increase in savings and possible imports. Especially if local providers feel the need to increase their prices in order to be able to retain employees and still meet their overheads. So while some may get paid more, it me be at the cost of other’s employment.

  6. Toto
    July 12, 2021

    I see most hotel workers will be getting E.C.7.24 per hour, that is U.S.2.67 per hour. Is that what the CBI approved hotels calculate for their workers when they themselves do not have to pay tax for years. Well, good luck with that people. I also see that care attendants with meals get more than those without meals. That must be a mistake for sure.

  7. Queen bella j
    July 12, 2021

    That’s a very good thing of raising the minimum wage 👌👌👌 It’s about time

    • Matthy
      July 12, 2021

      As per usual, Dominicans are quite happy to ‘feast’ on this governments left overs. Of course this raise is a good thing but it’s no where sufficient, but you are clearly happy. After all 2 crumbs of Skerrits table are better than 1. Next election you all go vote for him again providing that you get on top of the two crumbs two burnt chicken wings, a glass of bad rum and a red t-shirt. I tell you what, you lot deserve everything you get. Beggars!

  8. RandyX
    July 12, 2021

    Nonsense Blackmoore! To start of with there should be only 2 categories, persons under the age of 18 and persons over the age of 18. The term minimum wage is an old fashioned term that should be replaced with the term ‘living wage’. As such YOUR minimum wage of course is much to low and should be $7.50 for the below 18 group and $10.00 for the over 18 group. Of course that would not go down too well with Skerrit as his main supporters, the supermarket owners, big hotel owners, vehicle retailers, builders merchants etc. would not appreciate that and perhaps would turn against him. Do never forget, this man never does anything for the ordinary Dominican but only for himself and the members of the cabal. Never be in any doubt about that!

  9. Ibo France
    July 12, 2021

    There’s no doubt that the minimum wage in Dominica is ridiculously low. In fact, the lowest in the Eastern Caribbean. An increase in the minimum wage is justifiable but NOT at this time when the economy is in shambles, the WORST shape ever. How are the small local businesses that are on the verge of financial collapse survive this?

    What I’m trying to convey is simple this. This sudden increase will lead to the closure of many struggling local businesses causing further hardships by adding to the extension of the already unacceptable long unemployment line.

    By the way, what about the long awaited and deserving raise in wages and salaries for public servants? With the abundance of closures of local small businesses, the Chinese are smiling in anticipation of a boom in their business.

    Mr. Skerrit has a propensity to favor foreigners over born and bred Dominicans. The local media and business sector, find your voice.

  10. Zandoli
    July 12, 2021

    I can’t imagine anyone working for $4.50/hr in Dominica. I think the government is catching up with what was already in place in the market. I certainly would not pay someone $40 for an 8 hour day.

    • Ibo France
      July 13, 2021

      The government is ‘catching up’ after twenty years! What about the public servants who were given 1.25 % increase. If one works for $300.00 per week, he gets an extra $3.75 on his wages to make it $303.75. Ridiculous!!

      Mr. Letsng,,the DPSU president, said he was quite satisfied. Stop paying union dues. This guy is a stooge.

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