A more ideal Minimum Wage?

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

By Sanday Chongo Kabange

Is adopting P.A.Y E tax-free bucks suffice to stand as Minimum Wage for Zambia’s workers? Join the debate and let us know what you think about Minimum Wage.

Reports that a review of the country’s Minimum Wage from K268, 000 to K600, 000 is still ongoing have provoked debate and mixed reactions among many Zambians.

While thousands of workers across the globe commemorated Labour Day, the issue of Minimum Wage in Zambia remains thorny, despite several assurances that the K268, 000 threshold is to be revised.

Below is a view point by an ardent advocate of “equal salary for equal service offered”.

The views outlined below do not any way represent the views and opinions of Mywage Zambia or its parent organ, the Wage Indicator Foundation.

The piece below provides food-for-thought to trigger your reactions. Tell us what you think is the best way to increase the Minimum Wage in Zambia!

Add your voice!!!

For a while now we have read or heard media reports that workers' unions want to re-negotiate the Minimum Wage for employees both in the government and the private sector.

We wish to suggest to the Zambia Congress of Trade Unions, to all its affiliates and to all employers that they should simply adopt the Zambian Pay As You Earn (P.A.Y.E) tax-free amount as the Minimum Wage.

Currently, the basic Minimum Wage is at K268, 000 while the P.A.Y.E tax-free amount is at K800, 000, following its adjustment from K700, 000 in the last national budget.

The obvious advantage of doing so is that it will save the unions precious time and avoid unnecessary strikes.

Increased Minimum Wages will also mean enhanced pension savings and hence a secure future for those who will benefit.

We understand that even what we have suggested does not sufficiently cushion the Zambian worker against the current harsh economic realities. The Basic Needs Basket for a family of six (as established by the Jesuit Centre for Theological Reflection) is hovering between K1, 800, 000 and K2, 500, 000.

However, we feel unions would do well to make it a legal obligation for all employers to adjust their workers' wages to whatever amount the government puts as tax-free pay.

In this case the ZCTU and all its affiliates should just deal with the government so that a statutory instrument is signed to that effect.