Payment of new minimum wage must be effected by end of January or employers in breach will be fined

Employers are being put on notice that they will face a fine for not paying the new National Minimum Wage, as has been ordered by the Minister of Labour.

In November last year, the Cabinet agreed to increase the wage in keeping with the recommendations of the National Minimum Wage Advisory Commission.

The Commission’s report proposed rates of $8.90 and $10 per hour, and the Executive decided on $9 per hour – an increase of 80 cents on the previous rate.

The new Minimum Wage took effect from January 1 this year, in accordance with Section C21, Subsection (10) of the Antigua and Barbuda Labour Code,Cap. 27, as amended.  

Hence, those who fail to honour it by the end of the month, which is next week, commit an offence that is punishable by a fine on summary conviction.

The United Progressive Party (UPP) had promised to increase the National Minimum Wage to $10 per hour if it were elected to office.

However, the Labour Party Administration countered that public servants are already making more than $10 per hour, prompting criticism of its decision to mandate that private-sector wage earners  be paid only $9.