There could soon be changes to Dominica’s minimum wage.
National Security, Justice and Immigration Minister Rayburn Blackmoore said the time has come for a review of the country’s minimum wage.
Dominica’s minimum wage, which was last reviewed and increased in June 2008, is EC$4.00 per hour (EC$162.00 per week) for unskilled workers and is among the lowest in the OECS.
The standard workweek is 40 hours for five days of work. The law provides overtime pay for work in excess of the standard workweek.
“I believe the time is opportune to seek to readjust the minimum wage going forward because an argument that has been used by many is that employers don’t normally pay the minimum wage,” Blackmoore said.
He said part of the solution is to examine “what obtains in similar economies” for example in St Lucia, Grenada and St Vincent, “to seek to strike a balance and to again review the minimum wage in this country”.
St. Kitts and Nevis leads the OECS with the highest minimum wage with EC$8.00 ($EC320.00 per week), Antigua and Barbuda -EC$7.51 (EC$300.40 per week), Grenada EC$6.00 (EC$240.00 weekly), St. Lucia EC$5.00 per hour (EC$200.00 per week) and St. Vincent and the Grenadines EC$4.46 per hour (EC$178.40 per week).
Minister Blackmoore said his government will continue to work in the best interest of its citizens.
“I know of persons who have been laborers all their lives, I know a number of persons who have been care takers all their lives and they have families, how do we protect these people and that is one of the core principles of the Dominica Labour Party and that we shall never depart from that,” the minister said.