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Some workers excluded from minimum wage

A meeting of the Wage Commission (File photograph)

A minimum wage is not recommended for workers aged under 18 or staff in family businesses who are related to the owner, a special report said yesterday.

The independent Wage Commission report, tabled in the House of Assembly, also recommended that live-in domestic workers and caregivers should get 75 per cent of the statutory minimum wage.

The report, submitted to the Ministry of Labour in April, suggested hospitality workers whose tips took them up to the minimum wage level should also be excluded from the legislation.

But employers should make up the difference for those whose gratuities could not help them hit the statutory pay levels.

Jason Hayward, the labour minister, told MPs that “the questions now become how and when do we implement this regime?”.

Three options were submitted by the commission based on 2019 pay rates – a minimum wage of $13.19 an hour, 42 per cent of the median hourly wage in 2019, $15.71 an hour, 50 per cent of the median, and an hourly rate of $17.28, 55 per cent of the median.

Mr Hayward said: “Businesses can be assured that the Government will take a measured approach as it considers the way forward.

“Any business currently operating with a business model that is predicated on poverty wages should seek to change their business model.”

The launch of the minimum wage is expected to be made after Mr Hayward reviews the report.

But the House heard the minimum rates would not be set until after the Wage Commission had submitted a separate report on a living wage so that both documents could be reviewed together.

Scott Pearman of the One Bermuda Alliance questioned whether the figures in the report applied to gross or net wages, after payroll tax and social insurance deductions.

Mr Hayward said that would be decided during the final review.

⋅ To read the Wage Commission Report in full, click on the PDF under “Related Media”.

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Published May 22, 2021 at 8:10 am (Updated May 22, 2021 at 8:10 am)

Some workers excluded from minimum wage

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