The Minimum Wage (Guernsey) Law, 2009 only came into force on
1st October 2010. Now, exactly 12 months later the
States have already made changes and upped the minimum wage hourly
rates. As from the 1st of this month employers
inGuernsey are now required to make sure employees are paid the
following "new rates":
Workers19 years or older - £6.15per hour (adult minimum
The Law applies to all employees in Guernsey including casual
and seasonal workers with the exception of apprentices under 19
years of age, share fishermen, prisoners and volunteers. Most
workers in Guernsey are therefore legally entitled to be paid at
least the minimum wage and those employers who have failed to
increase their employees pay in line with the new rates are
breaking the Law. If an employer is found in breach the
consequences are severe - compensation may be awarded to the
underpaid employee, enforcement notices issued against the
employer, or in worst case scenarios the breach can lead to a
criminal prosecution of the employer with fines to the business of
up to £10,000 and/or 3 months in prison for the employer.
But Guernsey's population has mixed views on the subject -
supporters of the minimum wage say that it is in the best interests
of the employee; it increases his/her standard of living; it
reduces poverty and forces businesses to be more efficient. Those
against, claim it is nothing more than a detriment to an employer
particularly those with small businesses - effectively, it has
become too expensive to employ staff and will only lead to an
increase in unemployment; the new rates only cause an increase in
cost to any business which is in turn passed on to the consumer -
nobody is the winner.
It is too early to say what impact if any, this Law (and in
particular the new rates) will have on Guernsey's economy, but
what we do know is that the Law is here to stay and whilst the
island may or may not appreciate it's existence, all employers
need to be make sure they are compliant!
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
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