Minimum Wage review still a pipe dream?

Minimum Wage information on Mywage Zambia, Minimum Wage, Minimum Wage Zambia, Zambia Minimum Wage, Salary Check, Living Condition, Inflation Zambia, Pay As You Earn Zambia, ZCTU, Zambia Congress of Trade Union Minimum Wage, Collective Bargaining Zambia, My Wage Zambia, Salary Survey Zambia, Minimum Wage Review, Zambian Minimum Wage, Sanday Chongo Kabange

Take the Salary Survey and Win a Wage!

By Sanday Chongo Kabange

For millions of Zambia’s workforce either in the formal or informal sector, the low Minimum Wage remains a pressing issue.

This is because a Technical Committee of Tripartite Consultative Council established by the Ministry of Labour and Social Security (MLSS) has once again failed to agree on a revised Minimum Wage.

Zambia’s Minimum Wage currently stands at K268, 000 (approx. US$60) and several stakeholders have been agitating for a review of the Minimum Wage to a figure that is in tandem with prevailing living conditions.

Labour market research has proved that the current Minimum Wage falls way below the basic monthly needs of an ordinary Zambian family.

The consultative council was assembled in 2009 and is made up of representatives from the MLSS, trade unions and Zambia Federation of Employers (ZFE).

Since its establishment, the group has been discussing the review of the Minimum Wage but it has since been learnt that the council’s suggestions to raise the Minimum Wage from K268, 000 to K600, 000 (approx. US$120) have hit a brick wall.

Information obtained by Mywage Zambia indicate that recent meetings of the consultative council held in the latter part of 2009 and early 2010 failed to reach a conclusive agreement.

It is understood that the trade unions proposed an increase of the Minimum Wage up to K600, 000, but representatives from employers rejected the proposition, contending that the increment would be costly and harmful to their sustainability.

In this gridlocked situation, the Ministry of Labour and Social Security will have to come up with a figure that will be agreed by all parties.

Failure to reach an agreement on the ministry’s suggested Minimum Wage will mean issuing a statutory instrument that will have legal attachments to it.

In such a case, the statutory instrument will be forwarded the Ministry of Justice, then it will be tabled before Cabinet and Parliament, after which it could be advertised in the Government Gazette.

The Technical Committee of Tripartite Consultative Council is also discussing other matters related to the Employment Act.