No minimum wage infractions reported yet

| 28/04/2016 | 38 Comments
Cayman News Service

Employment Minister Tara Rivers

(CNS): Enforcement officers from the Department of Labour and Pensions have begun inspections to make sure employers of low-paid workers are not paying employees less than the new national minimum wage of $6, and so far employers appear to be complying with the law. By this weekend, the inspectors will have completed the first 21 inspections at workplaces, in addition to audits relating to the hospitality industry to ensure that workers who receive tips as part of the salaries are not having their minimum hourly rate subsidized from their tips beyond the legal limit of $1.50 of the $6. 

Employment Minister Tara Rivers told her colleagues in the Legislative Assembly Thursday that so far no employers has been found to be cheating staff and there have been no reports to the confidential tips line.

Making a statement in the LA about the introduction of a minimum wage, which Rivers described as an historic achievement after it was talked about for so long, she credited herself with the implementation of the basic rate, which she said was improving the pay of more than 15% of the current workforce, or over 5,000 people.

She said that 25% of those impacted by the introduction of a minimum wage were Caymanians while the rest were work permit holders, permanent residents and the spouses of locals. Rivers said she believed that the new basic pay would help to address the importation of poverty, which was becoming a serious problem.

The minister admitted that the $6 rate was meant to be the absolute minimum and urged employers to pay more and for employees to negotiate for wages relevant to their industry. She said that the rate would be reviewed and evaluated by experts to ensure the national basic minimum wage continued to meet policy requirements and the needs of low paid workers.

She said the details of its review would form part of the pending new labour legislation, which she said would reach the LA before the end of the year. Rivers added that the delay to the law’s arrival at the Legislative Assembly was due to changes to the final draft of the bill to reflect concerns resulting from the public consultation on the new law.

As the Department of Labour and Pensions plans to keep up the enforcement of minimum wage and ensure compliance with all legislation relating to the workplace, the minister said the enforcement officers were being supported by information from both the Department of Immigration and the National Workforce Development Agency, but she urged the general public to help too.

Rivers encouraged all workers to call the anonymous tip line 945-3073 to report minimum wage infractions and other breaches of the labour law.

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Comments (38)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    In conjunction with requiring a minimum wage Government must look into the cost of work permit and most importantly education of Caymanians on all levels including the technical level so that employers dont have to resort to hiring expats to fill post they would rather hire a qualified Caymanian. Note this education starts not only at the secondary level but from primary and stop allowing Caymanian student who go through the public system to just attend school 92% of day and continue from one grade to the next and then graduate with not even the basic education or value of determination and confidence to want to excel.

  2. Cho King Often says:

    As others have stated, simply look at the job adverts in the newspapers and online. As mentioned in another article here, the following are the minimum salaries for monthly/weekly paid employees under the new law:

    $12,480 annually
    $ 1,040 monthly (40hrs/wk @ $6/hr)

    $14,040 annually
    $ 1,170 monthly (45hrs/wk @ $6/hr)

    MANY of the adverts I have read in the last few weeks fall short of this. Follow up on adverts and find the cheaters. If the ad is deceptively low only to discourage Caymanians from applying, then that is a whole other “kettle of fish!”

    I applied for a job that I was fully qualified for and which was advertised at $41-$45K per annum. In following up, I found that a work permit holder from halfway around the world had gotten the job and was being paid at only CI $15K per annum. This is only marginally higher than the minimum wage. Where is the follow up in cases like these? A professional with hard-earned accreditations, and with a family and mortgage cannot afford to work at these rates of pay!

  3. Anonymous says:

    So why DCI need firmer police detectivladies on staff now ?

  4. Anonymous says:

    No infractions yet? Really? Check today’s Compass to see ad by Wyndham Reef Resort on page C6. Starting salary is stated as USD 5.49; if it is illegal to pay such a salary per hour then one should not be able to advertise as such…. or maybe the Tourism Sector has different rules?

    • Jah Dread is back says:

      Minimum wage hog wash. What Government needs to do to assist everybody is to lower the duties on food across the board. This step and monitoring of prices set bythe Supplier to ensure that they pass it along to the consumers. Also, encourage import of foods directly from the. Source rather than the present merry go round through good ole US before it gets to us. It seems like our politicos are stuck in first gear and ant get out. No critical thinking at CIG spells ultimate disaster for the people. Selah.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Look at the below ad I just pulled off ECay Trade. I assume the working days are 5 days/week.

    Based on my calculation, the below does not fall within the minimum salary. Who on earth can live on this wage and be available 14 hours/day????

    $1,000 per month salary
    $150 per month gas allowance
    $40 per month phone allowance

    Working Hours:
    On-Call (8AM – 10PM)

  6. anonomyous says:

    Pick up the Compass and you will see jobs advertized at $5 per hour. Does anyone responsible for policing this have a brain in their heads?? Proof is in print for all to see!

  7. Anonymous says:

    Tara should be on the minimum wage…and I doubt she is worth that.

  8. Anonymous says:

    How are those employers who pay their employees cash every Friday checked for compliance? If they are already doing a visit, are they also checking for pension, overtime and healthcare compliance?

  9. Anonymous says:

    Has anyone from Immigration and Labor/Pension every gone undercover the respond to numerous ads from employers or potential employees re jobs? So many ads there from people who are looking for a “days” work!

  10. Anonymous says:

    Slaves, sorry, “helpers” don’t tend to have much voice on such matters.

  11. Anonymous says:

    I think people are just not reporting it for fear of losing what little money they are getting. In particular full time nanny’s, don’t a lot get paid just $150 per week?

  12. Anonymous says:

    Another layer of bureaucracy to discourage young Caymanians from ever going into business for themselves.
    Pension health care minimum wage is destroying all incentives for young people. Just get a job in the goverment of go on our extensive welfare state it is easier.
    Civil disobedience is what we need here, we business people en mass should stop providing the goverment with all information. The less the goverment is involved in our businesses the better our country will be.

    • Anonymous says:

      bring back slaves while you’re at it!

    • anonymous says:

      agree. Im not a business owner. But show me one country that government controls business and business’s are successful.

      As soon as government steps in. Business’s fail.

      It’s called supply and demand. Minimum wage just increases inflation.

      And eventually increases the cost of goods for everyone.

    • Anonymous says:

      Said the Pirate.

  13. Anonymous says:

    What about the living wage Minister? You were only for minimum wage when two other candidates in WB took it on but you and your running mate/s were for LIVING WAGE. You were told a decent minimum wage was necessary for any living wage calculation so where is the living wage proposal? Are you still confused about that?

    • anonymous says:

      “living wage” thats very short sighted and not realistic at all.

      You do realise, that would bankrupt many companies and cause a domino effect.

      Think about groceiry stores!

      Going to pay counter clerks 2k a month?

      well guess what. Expect your grocery bill to sky rocket. Oh wait, everything else is now more expensive

      Oh no problem. We will just raise the living wage again. Oh …now everyithing is more expensive again.

      think about what your saying fo a second!

      • Anonymous says:

        Because the grocery store and shipping barons have been so careful to lower prices when fuel prices plummeted? We wouldn’t want to cut into their ever-widening margins, and political pandering to keep it that way.

      • Anonymous says:

        that was the point!! Tara Rivers was all for living wage when the other candidates were only for minimum wage, so the statement @6:51 was mocking HER push for living wage when minimum wage was fair if the amount was decent.

      • Anonymous says:

        Hope Tara read your comment sine living wage is what she claimed she would go for but guess she too realised the impractical approach so managed to get a minimum wage,

  14. Anonymous says:

    I dont recall inspections being mentioned in the Minimum Wage law. But I suppose that will keep a few people employed as they go about their newly appointed official duties.

    But much as it is easier to pull over a new SUV carrying a family for a driving infraction than a lowered Honda with tinted windows, tin can exhaust and hidden license…

    The inspectors will visit the grocery stores, hotels and fast food chains that have standards and follow all the laws.

    They will not venture into to local bars, little stores or salons, and certainly will not intrude on the folks that will be stretching the law. The Caymanian employers of full time domestic helpers.

  15. Small says:

    As a small business howner who only today was visited by the officers that minister Rivers refer to, I must say that I found the ladies and gentleman to be very professional and provided me with good information on how’s me is to comply with the law.

  16. surprise surprise says:

    Possible no infractions because nobody was “really” getting less that 6.00 per hour and maybe they were advertising low wages in order to discourage Caymanians. Honestly a cat couldn’t survive on 6.00/hour

  17. Anonymous says:

    Ha! Have you checked the Classifieds in the Cayman Compass? Some salaries are as low as $4.50 per hour. Obviously, some business owners are showing no regard for the new minimum wage law.

    • Anonymous says:

      “in addition to audits relating to the hospitality industry to ensure that workers who receive tips as part of the salaries are not having their minimum hourly rate subsidized from their tips beyond the legal limit of $1.50 of the $6. ”
      $6 less $1.50 = $4.50. Hospitality FTW.

    • Anonymous says:

      It is $4.50 for businesses that have a registered gratuity pool, where the pool exceeds $1.50 an hour.

      But you are right, most places although they do pool the tips in one way or another likely are not registered.

    • Anonymous says:

      Hospitality Industry!

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