The Employment Forum has recommended that the minimum wage should increase by 10 pence to £6.63 per hour (a 1.5% increase) from 1 April next year.
Advocate Helen Ruelle, Chairman of the Employment Forum explained, “The Forum decided that, because the economy is still fragile, we must continue to be cautious whilst not unduly penalising low paid employees relative to increases in prices and earnings. The economic outlook is not yet positive, but from the information available to us, it appears less negative than last year and there were far fewer calls from employers for a minimum wage freeze. Consultation responses indicated that a sensible increase would be acceptable. An excessive minimum wage increase brings the risk of job losses and erosion of terms and conditions of employment. It is worthy of note that even if the minimum wage was frozen, Jersey’s minimum wage would continue to be higher than minimum wages in the UK, Guernsey and the Isle of Man, until at least October 2014.”
The Forum reviews the minimum wage by balancing a number of factors including consultation responses from employers and employees, the latest statistics and economic advice, the potential impact of any increase on jobs and competitiveness, as well as taking into account the States’ aspiration that the minimum wage should be increased proportionately to average weekly earnings over the next 12 years.
The Forum is also recommending, from 1 April 2013 -
- An increase of 1.5 percent in the maximum amounts that an employer may offset against minimum wage pay where staff accommodation, or accommodation with three meals each day, is provided.
- A Year 1 trainee rate equivalent to 75 percent of the minimum wage (£4.97 per hour) where training is undertaken in the first year of a new trainee role.
- A ‘Year 2’ trainee rate equivalent to 87.5 percent of the minimum wage (£5.80 per hour) where a trainee has received the trainee rate whilst undertaking training for one full year and will continue to undertake training for up to one further year.
The Minister for Social Security, Senator Francis Le Gresley, is considering the Forum’s recommendations and any changes to the Law will be lodged with the States later this year.
The Forum’s recommendation is available on the States website www.gov.je/minimumwage
Copies may also be obtained from the Forum’s Secretary; E.Forum@gov.je or 447203.