Chamber Response to 2018 Minimum Wage

Tuesday 10 October 14:54

Jersey Chamber of Commerce initial reaction to the Employment Forum £7.50 minimum wage proposal for the 1st April 2018.

Jersey Chamber of Commerce initial reaction to the Employment Forum £7.50 minimum wage proposal for the 1st April 2018:

The Jersey Chamber of Commerce welcomes the annual minimum wage review by the Employment Forum. It is, absolutely right that the minimum hourly rate is regularly reviewed in order to ensure that an appropriate rate is set at one that takes account of a number of contributing economic factors. Factors such as the Retail Price Index (RPI).

In light of the Employment Forum recommending a 4.5% increase (from £7.18 to £7.50 per hour), a rate that far exceeds that of inflation of 2.9%, the Chamber of Commerce is nervous regarding the consequences this significant increase will have.

Eliot Lincoln, President of the Jersey Chamber of Commerce said: “Any increase to the minimum wage will of course have an effect on businesses, especially for small and medium sized organisations within the hospitality, agriculture and retail sectors. Yes, minimum wage needs to keep up with inflation but not exceed it to the extent that could force companies out of business and in turn increase unemployment”. 

The Chamber of Commerce took part in the recent Employment Forum consultation process. At the session, Chamber referenced the results of a minimum wage survey, which they carried out with members last year. One question asked how many people members employ staff on Jersey’s minimum wage. 80% of those who responded said none.

For some time, Chamber has urged government to carry out thorough research regarding the number of people in Jersey actually earning minimum wage. These evidence-based statistics, along with RPI, should then play a contributing factor as to how the Employment Forum reach their recommended rate. A rate higher than RPI will likely have its own inflationary effects that could increase off-island out sourcing of services and increases the price of local goods, which when passed on to the end Jersey consumer could encourage greater off-island shopping.

Although Chamber is aware of the Chief Ministers drive to bring minimum wage to 45% of the mean average earnings, the Jersey Chamber of Commerce would call for restraint in significant increases in order to prevent spiralling inflation.

Click HERE to read the Employment Forum Statement

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