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Hourly minimum wage to be indexed January 1 on St. Maarten


~ NAf. 23 cents more per hour ~

PHILIPSBURG–Minimum wage earners with be taking home NAf. 23 cents more per hour as of January 1, 2014, when the hourly minimum is indexed by 2.8 per cent.

The indexation means that the hourly minimum wage will move from NAf. 8.33 to NAf. 8.56 per hour for all workers 21 years and older based on a 40-hour workweek.

“This is not an increase in, but an adjustment to the minimum hourly wage, based on the increase in the consumer price index (CPI),” it was stated in a press release issued by the cabinet of Labour Minister Cornelius de Weever. The minister approved the indexation.

This is the second time during his tenure that De Weever has indexed the minimum wage. It was indexed in January this year by 4.7 per cent to become NAf. 8.33 per hour for all workers 21 years and older based on a 40-hour workweek.

According to the press release, De Weever’s decision to index the minimum wage was based on the minimum wage legislation, which calls for an annual indexation of the minimum wage unless special circumstances dictate otherwise.

The minister has the authority to index the minimum wage based on article 13, paragraph 1 of the government regulation on minimum wage (“Landsverordening minimumlonen”). In accordance with this provision, the minister may establish a new minimum hourly wage if the statistics provided by the Bureau of Statistics STAT indicate that the consumer price index (CPI) figure for August of the current year has changed compared with the figure for August of the preceding year.

De Weever said that prior to his efforts to help maintain or at least prevent the purchasing power of the working man and woman minimum wage earner from decreasing, no indexation had taken place since 2008.

He consulted with the social partners in the Tripartite Committee prior to taking this decision. In keeping with his decent work policy, De Weever said he believed a balanced approach was needed when dealing with labour market issues.

Source: The Daily Herald, St. Maarten

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