Increased minimum wage for private-sector workers payable from July 1
Minimum wage for private sector employees has been officially increased by 36 per cent effective July 1. This will see them receiving $60,147, an increase from $44,200.
The increase has been officially gazetted and was signed by the Minister of Labour, Joseph Hamilton, MP, on June 24, 2022.
The move is a fulfilment of a commitment made by the PPP/C Administration in 2020, following the failure of the APNU+ AFC’s stalling of discussions by the tripartite committee on salary increases. The PPP/C Government had established a new committee to immediately continue discussions on the proposed $60,000 increase.
The committee included representatives of the Private Sector Commission, the Guyana Manufacturing Service Association, and all Chambers of Commerce.
President, Dr. Mohamed Irfaan Ali had announced recently that cabinet was in full agreement with the recommendations made by the tripartite committee to increase the minimum wage.
The wage increase comes at a time when government is working tirelessly to ease the brunt of the rising cost of living on Guyanese. The economic hardships faced the world over, is a direct effect of the COVID-19 Pandemic and most recently, the ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine.
Meanwhile, the official gazette states that in commencement of the order, a worker who is being paid a wage rate that is higher than that prescribed should continue to receive that amount and not suffer a reduction of rate in account of the order.
It also calls for workers to have a normal work week of 40 hours which should not exceed five days per week. Any hours of work beyond the normal working hours will result in the employee being paid at minimum rates set out by the hours and holidays act and the labour conditions of employment of certain workers act, or any other law in force where workers are represented by a trade union.
In addition, any employer who breaches the provisions of the order will be liable to conviction of a fine of $50,000 for the first offence. A second time offender will be fined $100,000 and face imprisonment for one month.