GREAT BAY (DCOMM):--- Minister of Public Health, Social Development, and Labour Hon. Cornelius de Weever and the social dialogue group known as the Tripartite that includes representatives from Government, Unions, and Business, have reached consensus that the minimum wage should be applicable from the age of 18 as of January 1st, 2014.
These discussions took place during the annual indexation of the minimum wage round-table talks.
The current minimum wage is applicable for person's 21-years and older. In the position paper prepared by the Labour Department on the minimum wages, it was proposed to amend the national ordinance on minimum wages to reflect the present policy insights, which would include lowering the age from 21 to 18. Coincidentally, during the discussions in the Tripartite Committee the UFA tabled a similar proposal which was unanimously endorsed.
The Minister of Labour Hon. Cornelius de Weever is very pleased that under the status of country Sint Maarten, the nation will be moving forward in improving the well-being of minimum wage earners in collaboration with other stakeholders.
The underlying motivation for lowering the age bracket is when a person reaches the age of 18, they are considered independent and ready to enter the workforce.
By allowing young people between the age of 18 and 21-years of age to earn the minimum wage, this will have a positive spin off on the economy as it will allow this group of consumers with a minimum income to buy products and services.
The Labour Department will now initiate the process to amend the present legislation and will also draft a modern wage policy, with the input of the Tripartite group.
The current minimum wage legislation dates back to the time of the former Netherlands Antilles.