MINIMUM WAGE INCREASE FOR DOMINICANS

The Cabinet of Dominica has taken the decision to increase the minimum wage in Dominica effective September 1 2021.

Hon. Rayburn Blackmoore who is the Minister with responsibility for Labor, stated that “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 Government of Dominica does not have a fixed minimum wage across all wage categories but instead the minimum wage is set per category and seeks to cover the most vulnerable categories of workers,” he noted.

The last minimum wage review was done in 2007, and concluded with the passing of an order which covered specific categories of workers. The new increase is expected to greatly benefit workers falling in these categories.

“Therefore this long overdue minimum wage review was undertaken to ensure that the economic realities of the present day reality were adequately captured. The Ministry of National Security and Home Affairs consulted with all stakeholders in undertaking this minimum wage review, inclusive of a Minimum Wage Advisory Board in 2009 by the Hon. Minister for National Security, a Market survey to assess the current wage undertaken by the Labour Division and consultation with international partners such as the International Labour Organization,” Hon. Blackmoore explained.

The Labor Minister went on to detail the increases that each of these categories should expect.

“Agricultural workers and labourers in the agricultural sector from $4 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 and receptionists from $5.50 to $7.25 per hour. Sales persons from $5.50 per hour to $7.25 per hour. Shop assistants from $4.50 per hour to $6.75 per hour. Home assistants with meals from a $125 per week to $200 per week. Home assistants without meals $143.75 per week to $250 per week. Live-in home assistance from $142.50 per week to $220 per week,” Hon. Blackmoore noted.

The new order also includes new categories of vulnerable workers who will also see an increase in their minimum wage.

“The new categories along with the rates are as follows: Cooks $7.25 per hour. Bartenders $7.24 per hours. Servers $7.24 per hour. Room attendants $7.24 per hour. Grounds men $7.24 per hour. Public area assistants $7.24 per hour. Vehicle drivers/messengers $7.50 per hour. Security guards $8 per hour. Other unskilled workers such as labourers in the construction industry and handy men $7.50 per hour. It is our view therefore that this extension of workers covered by the minimum wage order will ensure better treatment for these categories of workers who were previously among the most vulnerable workers who were not covered by the minimum wage order,” Hon. Blackmoore stated. 

The Labour Minister added 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 for the relevant categories as the Government seeks to empower its citizens.