New National Wages Council established in St. Vincent and the Grenadines

By Admin. Updated 12:05 p.m., Friday, March 24, 2023, Atlantic Standard Time (GMT-4).

The Cabinet of St. Vincent and the Grenadines established a new National Wages Council on Wednesday, December 7, 2022, in accordance with the Wages Council Act.

According to a March 24, 2023 press release from the Department of Labour, the new wages council was established to deliberate on matters relating to the terms and conditions of work, hours of work, minimum wages, holiday, sick leave, maternity leave, vacation pay, overtime, among other issues.

The released stated: This is in keeping with the Government’s overall poverty reduction thrust; to put more money in the pockets of low-income earners and the quest to achieve Goal 8 of the Sustainable Development Goal “promote inclusive and sustainable economic growth, employment and decent work for all”.

The Council, which includes 26 members comprises the chairman Dr. Mineva Glasgow, Vice- Chair, Mr. Tyrone Burke and 24 members representing the following sectors: Agriculture, Shop Assistants, Workers in Offices of Professionals, Hotel, Industrial, Domestic, Security, and a new additional sector, Nursing Homes.

The rest of the release:

According to Chairman, Dr. Glasgow, the addition of the Nursing Home Sector is critically important. This attests to the Government’s vision of ensuring that workers in this expanding Nursing Home Sector are included, since these workers are expected to administer a quality standard of care to the elderly loved ones in our society whose relatives are seeking for them a “home away from home”.

The Chairman also emphasized that this Council does not intend to re-invent the wheel. Instead, the Council will build on the work of those who went before, but at the same time we will make recommendations for the necessary adjustments to the Wages Council Act (Cap 217) of the Laws of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and the requisite Statutory Rules and Orders. This Council will give due consideration to evidence on the rate of inflation, the projected expansion of the SVG’s economy, and GDP growth to guide the recommendations. Other areas of focus include, but are not limited to, cooperation with the social partners to uphold the legislation bad amongst other things.

The Consultation exercise will commence on March 29, 2023 with the Labour Department and other key stakeholders such as the Trade Union Movement, Chambers of Industry and Commerce, Employers Federation, inter alia. It is our hope that by working together as a

Council that we can make a difference in creating a reasonable safety net for the waged workers in our society, which would help to reduce poverty and at the same time increase productivity at all levels of the employment spectrum.

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