Calls for Jersey's new government to raise minimum pay by introducing a living wage

Jersey's minimum wage is currently £9.22, but campaigners Caritas and the left wing party Reform Jersey want that increased to £11.27. Credit: PA Images

There are calls for Jersey's new government to boost the salaries of the lowest paid workers, by introducing a living wage.

The minimum wage is currently £9.22, but Caritas Jersey and the left wing party Reform Jersey want that increased to match the living wage by the end of the States term (2026).

The current living wage is £11.27.

Caritas Jersey is responsible for running the Living Wage Foundation's campaign in the island.

Earlier this month Jersey's Employment Forum started a consultation on where the minimum wage level should be set in the future.

Patrick Lynch, Caritas Chief Executive described the minimum wage as a "poverty wage".

"The current Cost of Living crisis being experienced by so many islanders has really started to hit and this has been fully acknowledged by candidates and parties during the election campaign.

"We would expect the first of the incremental steps from the minimum wage towards the Living Wage to be agreed by States' members in the early weeks of the new assembly. This is vital in any government's quest to eradicate poverty."

However the hospitality, retail and farming industries say a rise in the minimum wage could ruin businesses at a time when they are already struggling and that the government needs to think through the wider economic repercussions before introducing such a measure.

On Monday 27 June Deputy Sam Mézec put forward a proposition asking the new Minister for Social Security to ensure that any decision or consideration takes into account the view of the Assembly that by October 2022, the level of the minimum wage should be lifted to the hourly rate of £10.

Currently Jersey's living wage currently stands at just over £2 per hour more than the minimum wage.