Minimum-wage proposal amended

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Deputy Geoff Southern said the minimum wage – currently £8.32 – was ‘chasing the reality of the market’ and that he had lodged his proposition to increase the rate to take into account ‘the view of the Assembly that by October 2022 the level of the minimum wage should be lifted to the hourly rate of £10’ and to ‘devise a scheme’ by the end of 2022 to convert the minimum wage to the living wage, which is currently just under £11.

The living wage is a rate of pay deemed to allow staff to meet their essential needs.

States Members approved the proposition as amended by Social Security Minister Judy Martin. Her amendment instead proposed setting ‘the objective of raising the minimum wage to two-thirds of median earnings by the end of 2024, subject to consideration of economic conditions and the impact on competitiveness and employment of the low paid in Jersey’.

The Jersey Employment Forum, a non-political consultative body, will also examine the potential for the minimum wage to be set at the level of the living wage.

The minimum wage will increase to £9.22 an hour in January, after States Members heavily backed a proposition from Deputy Martin in October.

During yesterday’s States sitting, Deputy Martin said: ‘It would be foolish and reckless to ignore that some sectors of our economy are still in a perilous state.’

Concerns were also raised by some politicians about the impact of a wage rise on the farming industry.

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