Acting Labour Commissioner, Kelvin Pacquette says a matter of grave importance to the division is the non-compliance by certain business establishments in the implementation of the new minimum wage order which took effect on September 1, 2021.
The changes came about following recommendations from a tripartite committee in 2020, consisting of representatives of the private sector, the government and the unions, which was appointed in 2019 to review Dominica’s minimum wage.
Whilst the increase in minimum wages was widely accepted, Kelvin Pacquette stated that at present, a concern echoed by many employees within the private sector especially in the security and cleaning service, is that some employers have not implemented the increase as outlined.
The acting Labour Commissioner said the Division of Labour has played a major role in ensuring that the information is made available to both employers and employees around the country and as a result of non-compliance, several businesses have been formally written to.
“Another concern is regarding the question of what rate is to be paid to other unskilled workers such as porters and shelf packers who are not listed in the schedule. These workers would fall under the categories of other unskilled workers and should be paid at a rate of $7.50 an hour,” Pacquette stated.
He also addressed complaints by employees over wages paid for Sunday.
“Sunday by virtue of the law, is a holiday and any worker who has consented to work on a holiday is entitled to double pay or time off equivalent to the number of hours that the individual would have earned,” Pacquette explained. “The same would apply for working after normal working hours on a regular working day. This would be overtime pay at a rate of time and a half or time off equivalent to the number of hours that the individual would have earned.”
The acting Labour Commissioner applauded all the law abiding establishments who, according to him, “continue to honor their basic responsibilities as employers. He however, encouraged others to cooperate and adhere to the provisions of the laws.
“By not doing so, you are acting contrary to the laws of the Commonwealth of Dominica and we all are aware of the unfortunate situation this could pose for you legally.” Pacquette cautioned.