Montserrat commences public consultation on minimum wage

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BRADES, Montserrat — The Department of Labour in the Ministry of Communication, Works, Labour and Energy (MCWLE) has launched an online survey, to consult members of the public on the establishment of Montserrat’s National Minimum Wage.

At present, Montserrat does not have a National Minimum Wage, so there is no legislation in place to protect workers against unduly low pay. The establishment of a National Minimum Wage will ensure that:

  • Well-functioning collective bargaining in wage-setting is in place;
  • National frameworks allow for statutory minimum wages to be set and regularly updated according to clear and stable criteria;
  • Social partners are effectively involved in statutory minimum wage setting to support minimum wage adequacy;
  • Minimum wage variations and exemptions are eliminated or limited;
  • National minimum wage frameworks are effectively complied with and monitoring mechanisms are in place.

Labour Commissioner, Rudolph Christopher, said: “There are many persons here on Montserrat who work for very low wages, in fact as low as $5.00 per hour. They work almost every day and have very little time off. In addition, the cost of basic food continues to rise with every shipment that is imported.”

Christopher further noted that a minimum Wage will allow such persons to live a better life. “In the end it will be the difference between affording electricity or not, it is the difference between sending a child to school with breakfast or not, and in the end it is the difference between living a decent life or not. That is why we have been working with the International Labour Organisation (ILO), who has worked with over 50 countries around the world and of course taking into account our own unique circumstances into consideration, have used the tripeptide principle in the recommendation of a minimum wage for Montserrat,” explained the Labour Commissioner.

The survey went live on February 1, 2022, and will remain open until March 3, 2022. The Department welcomes comments from businesses that employ staff at the minimum wage and employees who are paid at, or around, the minimum wage.

For example:

  • Employees on low wages;
  • Employers of low-paid workers, particularly those in low-paying sectors such as retail, hospitality, social care, cleaning and hairdressing;
  • Young people and apprentices;
  • Representative bodies of the above groups;
  • Other organisations such as charities and voluntary organisations with an interest in the National Minimum Wage.

The public can access the Minimum Wage Survey on the government of Montserrat’s website and submissions can also be made in the following ways:

  1. Visit the online survey portal HEREand submit your feedback;
  2. Email your submission as an attachment (PDF or Word doc) to labour@gov.mswith ‘Montserrat Minimum Wage Survey Submission’ in the title; or
  3. Post (Submit hardcopy) your submission to ‘MontserratMinimum Wage Survey Submission’, Department of Labour, MCWLE Building, Brades, Montserrat.

Following the public consultation, the Department of Labour will carefully review all input and publish the stakeholders’ submissions and a summary of the main findings on the government of Montserrat’s (www.gov.ms) website.

To learn more about the public consultation and how to become involved, contact the Department of Labour at (664) 491-4010 / 491-4020 or by email at labour@gov.ms.

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