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Employment Forum recommends minimum wage rise

28 September 2015

The Employment Forum has recommended a 2.8% increase in the minimum wage. If approved by the Minister for Social Security, Deputy Susie Pinel, this will give a new hourly rate of £6.97 from 1 April 2016 for all employees over age 16.

Chairman of the Employment Forum, Advocate Helen Ruelle, said "The Forum takes an independent position in considering the local economic situation and the available evidence in deciding what hourly rate should be recommended. We have considered and debated the evidence that is available from many sources including the latest statistics, economic advice and the consultation responses that we received from employers and employees.

"I am pleased that the Forum has reached a unanimous decision again this year and we have recommended that the Minister increases the minimum wage by 19p per hour. Based on a 40 hour working week, this would give minimum wage employees an extra £7.60 per week, or £395 per year.

Economic growth and recovery

"The balance that is required is never easy. Economic advice suggests that we must continue to be cautious in these early days of economic growth and the agriculture and hospitality sectors, which employ a large proportion of minimum wage earners in Jersey, continue to call for modest increases. However, there are positive indications that the local economy is growing. Together with improvements in levels of employment and earnings the Forum felt able to push the recommended increase beyond the latest increases in prices and earnings.”

In making its recommendations, the Forum is required by Law to consult those who might be affected by changes in the minimum wage and to consider the effect on the economy and on competitiveness. In addition, the Forum is required to consider the States objective that the minimum wage should be set at 45% of average earnings by 2026, subject to economic conditions and the impact on competitiveness and low-paying jobs in Jersey. The recommended hourly rate of £6.97 is equivalent to 41% of the June 2015 level of mean weekly earnings.

The Forum is also recommending the following from 1 April 2016:

  • a Year 1 trainee rate of £5.23 per hour where training is undertaken in the first year of a new trainee role.
  • a Year 2 trainee rate of £6.10 per hour where an employee has been a Year 1 trainee for one year and will continue to undertake training for up to one further year.
  • an increase of 2.8% 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.

The Minister for Social Security is expected to announce her response to the recommendation shortly and any changes to the Law will be lodged for States debate later this year.

View the Forum's full recommendations

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