By Editor-June 2nd,2023.
Bermuda, a small archipelago in the North Atlantic has announced what may well be the highest minimum wage in the world, overtaking Australia, which is generally considered to have the world’s highest minimum wage.
Jason Hayward, the Minister of Economy and Labour, yesterday told the Royal Gazette that the introduction of the minimum wage should not be used by employers to drive down wages for new and existing workers, with those who do so facing “costly penalties”.
Asked how he would respond to people who said that the minimum wage was a “con job” as allowable deductions, such as those for pensions, could bring takehome wages below the $16.40 mark, Mr Hayward said: “There is no con job” and argued that, unlike in parent-nation Britain, tips could be used to bring the hourly rate up to $16.40. “The minimum wage was always designed to be gross and not net” said Hayward
The minister, who said that full measures would be outlined during the House of Assembly, declared that penalties for employers contravening minimum wage rules would be a fine of up to $7,000 plus a daily fine of $500.
Bermuda has no income tax on wages, but has one of the world’s highest costs of living. The island does employ overseas workers, but work permits are only offered to foreigners if it can be shown that no qualified Bermudian wants a position. The island uses the Bermuda dollar as currency, which has the same value as the US dollar for currency exchange purposes.