21 October 2019
St Helena Government (SHG) is consulting on an increase to the Minimum Wage from 1 April 2020.
The Minimum Wage per hour is currently £3.13 (for persons over 18) and £2.18 (for persons aged 16 or 17).
The Employment Rights Ordinance, 2010, prescribes that the Minimum Wage must be reviewed on an annual basis and, during the consultation for previous increases, businesses told SHG that it was better to propose smaller increases to the Minimum Wage regularly on 1 April of each year. The Minimum Wage review is undertaken by the Employment Rights Committee who is required to have regard to effect of any recommendations on the economy as a whole and on competitiveness. The committee recognises that St Helena’s economy is extremely sensitive at this time to increased costs to businesses and the knock-on effect it would have on their customer base and ultimately the cost of living on St Helena. In addition, there are a number of upward pressures on the Minimum Wage. Since the Minimum Wage was recommended to be changed last year:
- Prices have inflated by 2.9%
- The Income Related Benefit (IRB) has increased by 3.26% or £2.50 per week (the equivalent of 7p per hour for comparison).
As a result the Committee is consulting on three options for this period of consultation on an increase to the Minimum Wage from 1 April 2020:
- An increase of 9p (2.9%) to £3.22 for persons over 18
This is a 0% real increase in the Minimum Wage as the increase is in line with inflation. The Minimum Wage for persons aged 16 or 17 would also increase by 9p to £2.27.
- An increase of 5p (1.6%) to £3.18 for persons over 18.
This is a -1.3% real change in the Minimum Wage, after inflation is taken into account. The Minimum Wage for persons aged 16 or 17 would also increase by 5p to £2.23.
- No increase
This is a -2.9% real change in the Minimum Wage as there is no increase to keep in line with inflation.
SHG would like to hear your opinions on the options provided, and how the changes might affect you or your business.
If you would like to respond to this consultation by the Employment Rights Committee, please contact the Chief Economist, Nicole Shamier, by email: email@example.com or calling: 22470 by Monday, 18 November 2019. Anyone wishing to discuss the matter in person can also do so by booking an appointment with Nicole before the above closing date.
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21 October 2019