No to living wage plan for work permits

Tynwald buildings, Douglas

Tynwald buildings, Douglas

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There are no plans to make work permits available only for jobs which pay at least a living wage, Tynwald was told.

Economic Development Minister Laurence Skelly, replying to the question from Peter Karran (Lib Van. Onchan) said it would be ‘inappropriate at this stage’ to introduce a living wage to the work permit process.

He explained there were several reasons for this.

There is no common generally accepted definition of a living wage and whereas by law all employers must pay their workers at least the minimum wage, there is no basis in the work permit legislation for taking the living wage into consideration.

Mr Skelly added that under the work permit legislation his department may already take into account the extent to which new workers will be able to afford to live in the Island - based on the size of the applicant’s family and dependants, and whether wages and conditions offered are less favourable than those for similar Manx workers.

In a separate question, Mr Karran asked the Treasury Minister Eddie Teare what action he plans to take to enable young people to enter work without being worse off than when they were on benefits.

Mr Teare replied than an 18 to 20-year-old who takes a full-time job of 40 hours a week, paying the minimum wage, would receive £37.71 per week more in take-home than they would have received on benefits, including the maximum allowance which may be payable towards housing costs.

He pointed out that the current review of the Social Security system includes recommendations as to how to ensure people are better off in work.

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