The minimum wage schedules set pay by occupation. The minimum wage for domestic workers, for example, was $4.50 XCD ($1.67) per hour, while that for a security guard was $9.00 XCD per hour ($3.33). The poverty income rate was estimated at $6,200 XCD per year ($2,300). According to the 2008 Poverty Assessment, the most recent study, 37.7 percent of the population lived below the poverty line.
The law provides for a 40-hour maximum workweek. The law stipulates that employers must permit persons who work five hours consecutively a one-hour meal break. In addition the law states that employers may not ask domestic employees to work longer than a 10-hour period without at least two hours of breaks for meals and rest periods. The law requires premium pay for work above the standard workweek and prohibits excessive or compulsory overtime. The law mandates paid annual vacation of two weeks in the first year and three weeks thereafter. The government sets health and safety standards. Workers can remove themselves from situations endangering health or safety without jeopardizing their employment if they reasonably believe the situation presents an imminent or serious danger to life or health.
Enforcement, including wages, hours, occupational safety, and other elements, is the responsibility of the Ministry of Labor’s labor inspectors, who are responsible for the full range of labor rights inspections, including workplace safety and the right to organize. Inspectors examined approximately 75 percent of eligible sites. The government effectively enforced minimum wage requirements and reported that no violations of the law concerning working hours were brought to the notice of government authorities. The government enforced occupational health and safety in certain cases but did not enforce them in others.
The government informally encouraged business to rectify violations without resorting to formal channels for compliance, including fines and penalties, which have never been used. There was no information provided on what the law sets as the amount for fines, or other penalties. Labor officers worked with employers in sectors such as energy, agriculture, and construction to promote appropriate clothing, health checks, and pesticide safety.
During the year the national insurance scheme received 217 claims of workplace injury. No workplace deaths were reported.