Bahamas increases minimum wage from US$210 to US$260 per week

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Philip Davis, Prime Minister of The Bahamas

NASSAU, The Bahamas — In his ‘first year in office’ National Address the Hon. Philip Davis, Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, announced a minimum wage increase to US$260, and other wide-sweeping measures to tackle challenges facing the country. 

The National Address was delivered Tuesday, October 11, 2022 in a live broadcast heard around the country.  In the 36-page document, the prime minister shared the progress of his administration so far and plans for education, food security, job readiness, health care, national security and more measures for the way forward. 

Tackling head-on the burden of inflation and other issues that have driven up the cost of living for Bahamians, and globally, the prime minister underscored the importance of making adjustments for the economic benefit of families. 

In this vein, he announced that the minimum wage would increase from US$210 per week to US$260 per week. The last time the minimum wage was raised in the country was the year 2015. 

“During an inflation emergency, it’s important to take the steps we can to improve affordability. Of course, nothing is more important to helping families make ends meet than higher wages,” the prime minister said. 

He added, “A new increase has been long overdue. For minimum wage earners in the Public Service, the change will be retroactive going back to July of this year. For minimum wage earners in the private sector, the increase will begin in a little less than three months, in January of the coming year, allowing employers time to prepare for the increased expense.” 

According to the prime minister, the higher minimum wage will benefit thousands of Bahamians. The increase will help, it was long awaited, long overdue, and the extra money every week will make a difference. 

“However, we are aware that this will not eliminate the hardship of trying to make ends meet in today’s economy. Instead, it represents progress on the way to a livable wage,” the prime minister said. 

He explained that the raise was negotiated by the National Tripartite Council, which includes the government, representatives from the private sector and unions. “Our shared goal was to raise the minimum wage without having a negative impact on employment or job growth, and we believe that has been achieved,” the prime minister said. 

Information taken from the Government of The Bahamas website

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