Minister of Labour and Economy set out a Position Paper On Establishing a Minimum Wage In Bermuda today, that calls for a minimum wage between $16 and $16.40 per hour.
For hospitality workers whose income is combined with gratuities, the bar was set between $12 and $12.30 per hour.
In his Labour Day statement released this morning, the Minister stated: “As the Minister for Economy and Labour, I cannot tell you how pleased I am to announce that after decades of consecutive governments being accused of ‘kicking the can down the road’, this Government will implement a statutory minimum wage rate in Bermuda.
“This Government continues to demonstrate its commitment to workers. We have taken a human-centred approach. The implementation of a minimum wage reflects the social justice ethos of the Progressive Labour Party Government, ensuring that a fair day’s wage is paid for a fair day’s work.
“And so, designed to be a statutory wage floor, it is proposed that Bermuda’s minimum wage will be set between $16 and $16.40, which will be considered one of the highest in the world,” he added.
“Hospitality workers who receive tips and gratuities and personal care workers who primarily receive remuneration through commission will have a minimum wage set at 75 percent of the ordinary minimum wage, equating to a fixed rate of between $12 and $12.30.”
Earlier this year the Government was accused by trade unions of “dropping the ball” on the minimum wage issue.
But the Minister countered: “Since the 2020 election, the Government has launched the National Jobs Strategy and the Youth Employment Strategy, in addition to many other policy initiatives, which aim to promote economic security for workers across all job sectors and experience levels. Building a wage floor is another feature of the Economic Recovery Plan, which will improve the lives of many Bermudians.
“Now more than ever, it is crucial to establish a minimum wage to ensure that all segments of our society have access to their basic needs,” he said.
“This Government promises to provide social protection to all Bermudians.
“Although more work must be done to achieve a living wage rate for Bermuda, this is a monumental step. Workers will now be assured a respectable and decent wage as it sets a basic standard for all employers when hiring staff for their businesses.”
The Paper is available for review from the Resources section in the Ministry of Economy and Labour webpage on gov.bm.