Thursday, July 27, 2017

Labour Ministry plans to raise minimum wage

The Ministry of Labour, Immigration and Population is planning to increase the minimum wage following claims that the present K3600 daily wage was too little for the people to survive on.

Minister U Thein Swe said last Thursday that the government was considering an increase after workers demanded for better minimum pay, adding that committees would be set up in the regions and states to look into the matter.

“We will get information and feedback from employers, workers, experts and other related parties.

“Then, we will decide how to move forward from there,” he said after the Amyotha Hluttaw session.

The government had earlier formed the National Minimum Wage Committee, which met at the ministry last Tuesday.

During the meeting, labour organisation representatives, experts and employer groups discussed the setting of a new minimum wage.

U Thein Swe said the government would proceed transparently to set the new minimum wage, taking every aspect and advice into consideration.

“We had a serious discussion on how to proceed. There are steps to follow.

“But it should be easier to make the amendment this time since we already have the experience,” he said.

When the government last set the minimum wage in 2013, there were delays.

The Minimum Wage Law was enacted on March 22, 2013 and the Minimum Wages Rules were issued on July 12 that year.

But it was only on September 1, 2015 that the minimum wage ruling came into force, setting a K3600 pay per day for eight hours of work or K450 pay per hour.

The two years between the passing of the law and its enforcement saw contentious debating between employers and workers’ associations, mediated by the National Minimum Wage Committee.

Translation by Win Thaw Tar and Khine Thazin Han