It seems just about everyone can agree that a minimum wage is needed for workers in the Cayman Islands, but that’s about all they agree on when it comes to the nitty gritty issues of the matter.
Firstly, Government has to come up with some magic number at which to set a minimum wage, but to do that, our elected officials will have to know what effect the enforceable wage will have on businesses and the already high cost of living here.
And because it would be a legally mandated minimum wage, it would have to be enforceable.
The implementation of a minimum wage would mean that government would probably have to grow even larger than it is to set up an administration with people who would police the minimum wage.
The Observer on Sunday does agree that there are expatriates and Caymanians earning less than what a human being should make and they find it difficult just to survive from day to day.
We also acknowledge that there are many employers who do pay decent wages to their workers and in some instances even provide housing and food. How would those perks be factored in to any new minimum wage?
But we are not sure that a minimum wage would stop high numbers of expats who are forced to live in single family accommodations to cease that practice.
The only thing any minimum wage would – or could – guarantee is protection of employees by unscrupulous employers, but only again if a proper administration was in place.
Countries the world over have proper minimum wage legislation in place and what most of the leaders in those places have found is that minimum wage has to be adjusted from time to time to keep up with the rate of inflation and the cost of living.
The Observer on Sunday doesn’t know what the answer is to the minimum wage debate except that any mandated minimum wage will have to be fair to all involved – employees, employers and government.
The capability of implementing a minimum wage in the Cayman Islands does exist and should be explored, and, if all the criteria are met and approved, be legalised.
In a recent Caycompass.com poll 62 per cent of all respondents said the Cayman Islands should adopt a minimum wage. The Observer on Sunday concurs.