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Minimum Wage Increases for All Categories of Workers

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Minimum Wage Increases for All Categories of Workers

The Ministry of Rural Transformation, Community Development, Labour and Local Government notifies the public that in accordance with the Wages Council (Wages Regulation) (Consolidation) (Amendment) Order, 2022, Statutory Instrument No. 169 of 2022, and Wages Regulation (Manual Workers) (Amendment) Order 2022, Statutory Instrument No. 170 2022, the minimum wage for all categories of workers has increased to $5.00 per hour effective January 1, 2023.
This new increase in the minimum wage is part of the Government of Belize’s overall strategy to combat poverty and reduce inequality, as outlined in Plan Belize. Having a minimum wage that allows working-class families the ability to provide a decent life for their families has positive implications for Belize’s sustainable development and advances the achievement of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, specifically goals 1, 2, 8 and 10, which address poverty alleviation, decent livelihood, decent work and the reduction of inequality. The last increase in the minimum wage occurred in 2012.
With the increase in consumer prices over the last decade and the recent global inflation crisis compounded by the COVID-19 pandemic, working-class families have been bearing the brunt of these economic shocks leading many into poverty. The ministry affirms the International Labour Organization’s Minimum Wage Policy, which states that “the purpose of minimum wages is to protect workers against unduly low pay. They help ensure a just and equitable share of the fruits of progress to all, and a minimum living wage to all who are employed and in need of such protection.” Additionally, this increase in wages will result in tangible benefits for both businesses and workers. An increase in income in the hands of consumers will provide a stimulus to the Belizean economy through increased demand and consumption.
As part of this wage adjustment exercise, the Ministry of Labour is currently reviewing a wage-setting methodology that will be used periodically to determine future minimum wage increases.
The ministry thanks all stakeholders, including the Minimum Wage Task Force, for their engagement in this crucial process.

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