When Cabinet met on the 2nd November 2022, a National Minimum Wage Index increase and the implementation of several social support strategies to be implemented in parallel with the Minimum Wage Index was approved.
These progressive strategies, according to the Washington Misick administration, will improve the standard of living of the residents of the TCI.
The work on the Minimum Wage Review commenced with the establishment of a Minimum Wage Working Group, which was commissioned by Cabinet. The key objective of the working group was to review and make recommendations on a Minimum or Living Wage Index for implementation throughout the Turks and Caicos Islands.
Members of the working group are:
• Permanent Secretary of Labour: – Chairman;
• Representative from Ministry of Finance ;
• Representative from the Stats Department;
• Representative from the Premier’s Office;
• Representative from the Labour Department;
• Representative from Attorney General Chambers; and
• Two representatives from the Private Sector.
Following extensive consultation and analysis of available data, the committee proposed three options for consideration by the Cabinet, to raise the Minimum wage from its current level of $6.25 per hour.
The main determinant for the establishment of the Minimum Wage was the cost of living and inflation rates. The following are the three options presented to cabinet for consideration:
• Option 1: $7.25 per hour;
• Option 2: $8.00 per hour;
• Option 3: $8.25 per hour;
Following Cabinet’s agreement, the Turks & Caicos Islands now has a proposed National Minimum Wage of $8.00 per hour. The new rate covers all categories of workers, with the exception of those from the Security, Manufacturing, Construction, Banking, Financial Services and Insurance Sectors. The minimum rates for these sectors will be $9.00 per hour. These recommendations are proposed to come into effect April 1st, 2023.
According to government, parallel to the increase of the National Minimum Wage, the following social programs have been developed, costed and approved to complement the Minimum Wage Index thus introducing a Living Wage support system in the TCI, to come into effect September 1st 2023.
These programs include:
• National School Nutrition Program
• National Day Care Program
• After School Program
Hon. Rachael Taylor Minister responsible for Education, under whose portfolio this work was commissioned; praised the committee for their commitment and the quality of work that was delivered.
Taylor further noted; “This work is a testament of our commitment to ensure that our people are able to experience and maintain the best standard of living possible. I am convinced that these measures will go a long way in helping to achieve this goal!’
In accordance with Section 23 (5) of the Employment Ordinance, the Governor has made an Order to increase the minimum wage from $6.25 an hour. Any person wishing to make a written representation in response to the proposed Order must do so within 28 days of its publication in the Gazette.
Copies of the Turks & Caicos Islands Minimum Wage Review Report produced by the working group can be accessed via the Government’s Website at https://gov.tc/education/images/docs/TCI_Minimum_Wage_Review_Report.pdf and a limited supply of hard copies can be obtained at the Ministry of Education & Ministry of Immigration Offices on Grand Turk & Providenciales, and the Office of the District Commissioner on Salt Cay, South Caicos, North Caicos & Middle Caicos.
Written representations can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org or delivered in a sealed envelope addressed to the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Education, Youth, Sports & Social Services at the above noted locations.