National Minimum Wage for some security guards not being paid?

Dr Wykeham McNeill, Chairman, Public Administration and Appropriations Committee of Parliament


The Ministry of Labour and Social Security has come in for criticism from the Jamaica Society for Industrial Security (JSIS), which represents more than 20 private security companies, over its failure to intervene into a complaint that some security companies contracted by government agencies are not compliant with the national minimum wage for security officers.

Commander George Overton, President of the JSIS,  has written to Chairman Parliament's Public Administration and Appropriations Committee (PAAC) Dr Wykeham McNeill calling for the committee to conduct an investigation.

In the letter, read by Dr McNeill during Tuesday morning's sitting of the PAAC, Mr Overton criticised government agencies for failing to ensure that contracted security companies are meeting the requirements for the payment of the minimum wage and the accompanying allowances.

He said that in the provided payslips, it was noticeable that, in the case of one company, "that the laundry allowance, paid at a rate of $44 per hour, should be paid for every hour worked, but is capped at 80 hours per fortnight."

This, the letter claims, means that "the officers are being short paid an average of $2,816 per fortnight, or $73,216 per annum..."

Mr Overton also chastised the Ministry of Labour, lamenting that despite writing to the ministry in December last year outlining the complaint, along with supporting documents, there has been no action or response.

He said the JSIS president indicated that, in another instance, a company has not been paying security officers the laundry allowance to which they are entitled.

Dr. McNeill said he will be writing to the Ministry of Labour about the concerns raised by the Jamaica Society for Industrial Security, asking it to confirm whether the situation is as stated by the JSIS.
It was incumbent on the PAAC, he said, to "ensure that government is compliant in terms of its hiring practices and the contracts it has with the security guards, and must ensure that the security guards are appropriately paid in this matter."



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