Wage survey under way

A new survey hopes to gather data on Cayman’s lowest earners as the debate continues over setting a minimum wage.

The Legislative Assembly tasked the Minimum Wage Advisory Committee with making recommendations for a minimum wage in Cayman. To that end, the committee has been conducting a round of interviews and collecting data to get a handle on how much the lowest earners actually make.

The anonymous survey is available online at www.education.gov.ky/minimumwage or in hard copy at public libraries.

The government does not collect statistics on how much each worker in the country makes. The best guess comes from the Economic and Statistics Office’s annual labor survey, which shows that more than 30 percent of people in the workforce make about $19,000 a year. The ESO also plans to conduct a separate survey over the next month with researchers in the field interviewing businesses and 1,400 households.

The 2011 Cayman Islands Labour Law sets out a process for the government to set a minimum wage. The first step involves creating the committee to study what the lowest paid workers make, and then make recommendations.

Committee members say they hope their report will be ready early next year.

Any minimum wage would not apply to children under 14.

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