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BPSA supports national minimum wage, but ‘concerned about timing’


BPSA supports national minimum wage, but ‘concerned about timing’
Former chairman of the Barbados Private Sector Association, Edward Clarke. (FILE)

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The Barbados Private Sector Association (BPSA) is appealing to Government to reconsider the April 1 date for implementation of the new minimum wage.

Speaking during a virtual press conference attended by members of the BPSA’s board earlier today, president Edward Clarke said the representative organisation for the business sector had asked Government for a January 2022 deferral of implementation of the National Minimum Wage Order, which is now set to go into effect on April 1.

But he regretted the measure would be pushed through after the BPSA had submitted its concerns and suggestions to the committee which had been tasked with the minimum wage review.

“We do agree that there is a need for a national minimum wage, we support it, we understand the need of our employees. What we have a concern about is the timing of that increase,” Clarke told the media.

He cited the present challenging economic climate with “a very stagnant business sector” and in which projections for economic growth were poor, given the devastating effect of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Clarke said business would have to make “serious adjustments” to their operations to comply with the minimum wage law, once it went into effect as he noted the circumstances of the pandemic had resulted in many large businesses laying off staff, small businesses badly affected and a significant fall-off in revenue. (GC)