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Minimum Wage In Jamaica
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Minimum Wage In Jamaica | Sanitation EmployeeMinimum Wage In Jamaica | Sanitation Employee

by Venesha Johnson | Associate Writer

This year, Jamaicans saw a small increase in the minimum wage. This has left a bad taste in the mouth of many, as most are of the opinion that the minimum wage limit is so extremely low for the current economy that it wouldnโ€™t even cover basic needs for most individuals.

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The minimum wage is fixed and determined by a number of things and works in accordance with the Minimum Wage Act.

The Minimum Wage Act

The minimum wage act was implemented in 1938. According to the act, "minimum wage" refers to any national minimum wage or the minimum rate of wages fixed in respect of the particular occupation pursued by the person in question and applicable to that person.

In any case, where he is satisfied that the wages being paid to any person employed in any such occupation are unreasonably low, the Minister may, by order published in the Gazette, fix minimum rates of wages for any occupation in the Island, either generally or in any specified area, place, or district, and may, if he is satisfied that it is desirable so to do, fix a national minimum wage applicable, subject to the provisions of this section, to occupations generally.

Whatโ€™s considered while fixing the minimum rate

An order made under this act may include ancillary provisions as the Minister deems appropriate and may regulate working hours and other employment or service terms and conditions concerning any minimum wage rates.

may establish different minimum wage rates for workers employed in different categories of establishments engaged in the same occupation and may provide that, notwithstanding that the order establishes a national minimum wage. The national minimum wage shall not apply to any category of workers in any area specified outlined by the act.

The Minister may change or cancel a minimum wage by order.

Any such minimum wage, or the cancellation or variation of any such wage, shall become effective as specified in the order.

The House must approve any order issued under this act relating to the national minimum wage of Representatives.

Past Minimum Wages In Jamaica

The table below displays the minimum wage between the years 1992 and 2016.

In 2018, Hon. Shahine Robinson, Minister of Labour and Social Security, announced a 12.9% increase in the national minimum wage from $6,200 to $7,000 per week. Furthermore, security guards were paid $9,700 per week, an increase of 9.6% from $8,854 per week.

National Minimum Wage In Jamaica | (Photo: Ministry of Labour and Social Security)National Minimum Wage In Jamaica | (Photo: Ministry of Labour and Social Security)
National Minimum Wage In Jamaica | (Photo: Ministry of Labour and Social Security)National Minimum Wage In Jamaica | (Photo: Ministry of Labour and Social Security)

Current Minimum Wage

The House of Representatives approved two orders on Tuesday that will raise the national minimum wage and the minimum wage for industrial security guards (March 22).

The National Minimum Wage Order, 2022 and the Minimum Wage Industrial Security Guards Order, 2022 are being piloted by Labour and Social Security Minister, Hon. Karl Samuda.

The proposed increases will take effect on April 1, 2022.

To accomplish this, the national minimum wage will be raised from $7,000 to $9,000 per 40-hour work week or $175 to $225 per hour.

Industrial security guards' minimum wage will rise from $9,700 to $10,500 per 40-hour work week or $242.50 to $262.50 per hour.

Increases in laundry allowance (from $44 to $47.62 per hour) and firearm premium allowance (from $48 to $51.95 per hour) will also benefit security guards.

The premium allowance for dog handlers will be raised from $33 to $35.72 per hour, and life insurance with double indemnity protection and dismemberment coverage will be increased from $2.75 million to $2.97 million.

The minimum wage is considerably low and is only the set as the lowest amount of wages that can be given to persons for work done. In the even that the company is able to afford it, they are encouraged to pay more than is required.

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References & Sources For Minimum Wage In Jamaica

  1. 2022. House Approves Minimum Wage Orders โ€“ Jamaica Information Service. [online] Available at: [Accessed 29 August 2022].
  2. 2022. Minimum Wage to Move to $7,000 per Week โ€“ Jamaica Information Service. [online] Available at: [Accessed 29 August 2022].
  3. 2022. National Minimum Wage (1992-2016) Table โ€“ Ministry of Labour and Social Security. [online] Available at: [Accessed 29 August 2022].
  4. 2022. [online] Available at: [Accessed 29 August 2022].

Minimum Wage In Jamaica  Written: August 30, 2022

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