Cayman’s minimum wage, currently set at $6 an hour, will undergo a review process, Premier Alden McLaughlin said Thursday before the Legislative Assembly.
The Minimum Wage Advisory Committee, with assistance from the International Labour Organization, will reconvene to determine if the current minimum wage is still effective and make recommendations for reforms.
“This process will also entail data analysis on the labour market, skills gap analysis, and labour market policies,” McLaughlin said.
George Town Central representative Kenneth Bryan pushed the premier on whether he hopes the minimum wage will reach a specific amount.
McLaughlin said the rate was not up to him or his government to determine on their own.
“It is not just something that you just click your fingers and say, I think $8 an hour would be a good wage. There’s a process involved,” McLaughlin said.
“The minimum wage will be established as the result of the carrying out of these processes and these surveys, because there is much more in terms of consequence to establishing a minimum wage than simply giving persons a higher minimum wage.”
He added that the process would be a technical one that required balancing and consideration of the overall economic impact, including the cost to businesses.
The current minimum wage went into effect on 1 March 2016 under McLaughlin’s previous administration.
The rate of $6 an hour is established as the minimum wage for most Cayman Islands employees. Service workers who make gratuities earn a minimum hourly rate of $4.50 and special calculations apply for live-in household domestics, as well as for employees earning commission.
“We are in the very early stages of this reestablishment process,” McLaughlin said.
“So it will be for the Minimum Wage Advisory Committee to indicate once they are established again what the timetable is for them being able to produce the report.”
Newlands MLA Alva Suckoo asked if it would be sensible to establish a timeline for the report that coincides with the upcoming budget process.
McLaughlin responded that such a timeline would not be possible, given that the budget is expected to appear before the house in the middle of October.
The labour management unit of Workforce Opportunities and Residency Cayman, or WORC, will also contribute to the reevaluation process.