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 security guards was $8.00 XCD per hour ($3.00). The government estimated the poverty income rate at $6,200 XCD per year ($2,300). According to the 2008 Country Poverty Assessment by the Caribbean Development Bank, 38 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 48 sites in the first nine months of the year. The government effectively enforced minimum wage requirements and reported no violations of the law concerning working hours. The government did not always enforce occupational health and safety regulations.
The government informally encouraged businesses to rectify violations without resorting to formal channels for compliance that included fines and penalties. The government provided no information on the amount the law sets 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.
The national insurance scheme received 217 claims of workplace injury in 2015. The government reported no workplace deaths.