18 January 2021
St Helena Government is consulting on an increase to the Minimum Wage to take effect from 1 July 2021 and a new Minimum Wage Policy that will inform changes to the Minimum Wage beginning in April 2022.
The Minimum Wage per hour is currently £3.18 for persons over 18 and £2.23 for persons aged 16 or 17. The 2010 Employment Rights Ordinance prescribes that the Minimum Wage must be reviewed on an annual basis. The Minimum Wage review is undertaken by the Employment Rights Committee (ERC) who are required to consider the effect of any recommendations on the economy as a whole.
The ERC recognises the challenges facing St Helena’s economy, particularly during the current period of uncertainty caused by COVID-19. At the same time, even though the rate of inflation is relatively low (1% in Q3 FY 2020/21), any increase in prices reduces the purchasing power of the current Minimum Wage. Therefore, the ERC is consulting on increasing the Minimum Wage to £3.25 for persons over 18 and £2.30 for persons aged 16 or 17 effective from 1 July 2021. This rate has been informed by the level of inflation over the past two years as well as recent increases to Income Related Benefits.
Minimum Wage Policy
To date, there has been no formal policy regarding the frequency or size of updates to the Minimum Wage. SHG is proposing a policy to provide clarity on the long-term strategy for the Minimum Wage.
The primary goals underlying this policy are that:
- The compensation for the lowest paying full-time job on St Helena should be sufficient to support a socially acceptable standard of living.
- Changes to the Minimum Wage required to achieve this are implemented in a way that is sensitive to the challenges facing employers.
This new policy proposes a framework for considering future changes to the Minimum Wage. Following agreement of this framework, a separate consultation will occur on a target Minimum Wage and schedule for achieving it.
The draft policy can be found on the SHG Website via: https://www.sainthelena.gov.sh/government/public-consultation/. In addition, hard copies are available at the Public Library and Jamestown Customer Service Centre.
The consultation will close on Friday, 26 February, 2021. During this period, SHG will conduct a series of public information sessions. Once confirmed, the dates, times and locations for these will be announced.
In addition, written feedback can be provided to Senior Economist, Amanda Curry Brown, at the Castle, or via email: Amanda.Brown@sainthelena.gov.sh. Anyone wishing to discuss the matter in person can do so by booking an appointment via the aforementioned email or tel: 22470.
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18 January 2020