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Minister of Labour Joseph Hamilton (Photo: iNews Guyana)

New Guyana Government mulls increasing minimum wage

Minister of Labour Joseph Hamilton (Photo: iNews Guyana)

One of the main focus of the newly installed People’s Progressive Party Civic (PPP/C) Government in Guyana is a review of that country’s minimum wage.

At a press conference on Monday, Guyana’s Minister of Labour Joseph Hamilton shared that under the former APNU+AFC Coalition Administration, a tripartite committee had the responsibility of reviewing the issue of increasing the minimum wage in the private sector and tabled a proposal. However, the group has not met since last year to resolve the issue.

Guyanese currency (Photo: Embassy of Guyana)

“I am told that there is a tripartite committee comprising representatives from labour [unions], Government and the business community who met and discussed this matter, and a proposal is on the table to increase that. However, this was since last year, and since that time, the tripartite committee has not engaged again,” the Hamilton stated.

He further pointed out that he instructed the chief labour officer to hold an urgent meeting so that the issue can be properly addressed. The labour minister also noted that the private sector has also raised the issue of the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on the business sector.  

According to Minister Hamilton, the meeting should be held within the next two weeks, at which time all stakeholders can address the issues. 

Members of the Private Sector Commission of Guyana’s executive team (File photo)

“When the tripartite committee meets very urgently, maybe next week or the following week, we will have to discuss it and see how best we can keep the agreement the three entities they had regarding this matter since 2019 and we bring it to a conclusion.”

The former Administration had made attempts to increase the minimum wage from the current GY$44,200 in the private sector but were unsuccessful.

When the tripartite committee meets, it will consider the proposal from 2019 to increase the minimum for private sector employees to GY$60,000.