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Grow your staff's skills base if you can't pay minimum wage

by , 01 February 2013
The Labour Minister is under fire for insisting the clothing industry pays minimum wage. This move will lead to job losses and factory closures. And it certainly won't lead lead to skills growth. But there's an easy way to ensure your employees develop their skills, and in turn, benefit the economy, even if you don't pay minimum wage.

Minimum wage in the civil engineering sector, private security sector and the motor industry (MIBCO) sectors increased with effect from 1 September 2012, reports the Labour Bulletin.

Now, Labour Minister Mildred Oliphant's 2010 announcement that clothing companies must also pay minimum wage is being touted as 'irrational', as it fails to take account of potential job losses and factory closures.

Here's why some companies don't pay minimum wage
Many companies don't even pay minimum wages and thousands of jobs may be lost if the minimum wages are enforced on these companies, says a report by Edward West on the Business Day's BDLive website.
For example, the clothing company Valuline 'would have had to increase wages by 81.06% to comply with minimum wages and a third of [its] workforce would have to be retrenched,Carol Paton reports on Business Day's BDLive website.
But 'it's more than just small clothing companies at stake in the [minimum] wagecase,'adds Paton.
Because the 'hoped for high road of job creation through skill-and capital-intensive growth has yet to materialise.'
That's where you come in.
As the labour and HR expert in your company, 'it's your responsibility to grow your staff's skill-base, to help them stay on top of their area of expertise,' says the Labour Bulletin.
Two ways to grow your staff's skills base through skills development
1. Send your staff for training
2. Make sure they share their new skills and knowledge with the rest of the team.
Even if you're not paying minimum wage, your employees will benefit if you grow their skills,. This will, in turn, have a positive impact on the economy. It's a win-win situation.


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