The Government announced its intention to increase the minimum wage in the 2022-23 budget communication. In a national address on October 11th, Prime Minister, the Hon. Philip Davis announced that the amount will be increased to $260 per week.
Mr. Quentin Laroda of the Labour Department explained the process used in increasing the minimum wage. He said, “we did the research looking at how people come up with minimum wage and what’s the best minimum wage to implement.” He continued saying, “the research was extensive and based on that research we made our recommendations to the government. During our research and also the consultation done by the Chair with other groups we found that almost everybody across the board saw that there was a need to increase the minimum wage.”
The increase has caused concern about the effect on businesses in the country. Mr. Laroda says that their research has found that “about 25% of the workforce will be impacted by minimum wage. And so, of that 25% of the workforce a huge percentage of that, between 15 and 18% are government employee. And so, we also saw that the impact on the private sector would not be tremendous, so there was no reason not to move hastily to have it implemented and we thought this was the right time.”
Laroda also said this increase is the first step in the direction of a livable wage and the research has been sourced on the issue from the University of The Bahamas.