No door was closed to any sector as Barbados contemplated the introduction of a new minimum wage.
This was emphasised by Minister of Labour and Social Partnership Relations, Colin Jordan, as he joined Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley in a virtual press conference from Ilaro Court, yesterday.
He was responding to media queries on the private sector’s response to the new minimum wage, which takes effect from today, Thursday, April 1. The new minimum wage was cited in the Official Gazette dated March 30, 2021.
Minister Jordan, in elaborating on the aspect of consultation, said: “The statement was made about the door being closed. I just want to give an illustration to indicate that this Government, led by the Prime Minister, is one that responds. The example I’m going to give to you is that we got response from the private sector, the employers, in what we call the security services sector. And those employers said to us: ‘the order as set out is really the order taken from the Shops Act and it really bears no relationship to the business model in the security sector’.”
Noting that such consultation explained why the gazetted order that came out on March 30, looked different, he added: “The Second Schedule looks different from the Second Schedule in the draft order that was published … between 47 and 50 days ago and that was a result of Government being approached; looking at what was put on the table. It resulted in us going back to consult again, with the security sector.”
He also noted that Government consulted again with the trade union and coming out of that an adjustment was also made to the Second Schedule of the order.
“The Prime Minister would have indicated that everything we heard, almost every other thing we heard, we had heard before. But based on that representation from the security sector, we made an adjustment. And, I just wanted to share that to say that this Government continues to listen and continues to respond,” he declared.