Average salary of the commercial sector barely reaches the minimum of large companies
The cold statistics of the Central Bank show that the average salary of the Dominican commerce sector is RD $ 17,544.49 since an employee of this sector is estimated to work 41.4 hours per week with an hourly payment of RD $ 100.90, this applies in large companies and varies from according to the performance area of said worker.
By surveying commercial establishments such as grocery stores and minimarket, we find that a delivery that works on extended hours earns approximately RD $ 8,000 plus tips that customers give them, a cashier earns between RD $ 9,000 and RD $ 13,000, a sausage dispatcher RD $ 12,000 and a or a cleaning officer between RD $ 6,000 and RD $ 7,000.
In stores that sell clothing and household items, if they are large businesses, they are governed by the minimum wages established by the National Wage Committee (CNS) and their salaries vary according to the employee’s function.
If they are small or medium stores, of which there are many in the country, salaries fluctuate between RD $ 8,000 and RD $ 12,000, depending on the work performed by the person and if he has a supervisory position he can earn between RD $ 20,000 and RD $ 25,000.
The salary scales in medium, small and micro are smaller. According to the latest resolution of the National Labor Committee (CNS), the minimum wage in medium-sized enterprises is RD $ 12,107 and in small RD $ 10,730, but Hotels Bars and Restaurants (sector of great strength in the economy) the minimum is RD $ 10,355.75.
Merchants have unleashed a whole struggle demanding that Law 187-17 that modifies 488-08 on Reclassification of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises be applied, seeking that salaries conform to the parameters of this law that qualifies as micro to a company that has up to 10 workers and gross sales of eight million pesos, as small to those with between 11 and 50 employees and sales of up to RD $ 54 million, as medium to those with 51 to 150 and sales of up to RD $ 202 millions.
This law would allow companies that today are classified as small to be considered micro and their minimum wages may be lower, just as it approves that a group of companies classified as medium-sized companies become small, or by the number of employees or by their level of sale, and can lower their minimum salary from RD $ 12,107 to RD $ 10,730 and similarly companies that today fall into the category of large can be reclassified as medium by decreasing their minimum salaries from RD $ 17,610 to RD $ 12,107.
Upon approval, by mid-year, a 14% increase in minimum wages, the Dominican Federation of Traders warned that applying this increase would lead that sector to lay off hundreds of workers and MSMEs would have to close their doors, this without analyzing what it would mean for thousands of workers to see their already small salaries that are not enough to cover the poorest family basket (quintile 1) decrease and that, in the fight against poverty, implies reducing family income levels.
Another thing to take into account in this issue of wage reclassification is that the decrease in the purchasing power of families seriously affects economic dynamism because it slows consumption.
The commercial sector offers employment to almost one million of the employed population aged 15 years or more in both the formal and informal sectors, as shown by the statistics published by the Central Bank.
As of the second quarter of 2019, formal commerce registered 386,291 employed persons, 17.2% of the total nationally employed and at an informal level it records 579,991, 27.07% of those employed in that sector.