Zambia’s Minimum Wage Enslaving Workers

Read article on Zambia’s Minimum Wage enslaving workers at mywage.org/Zambia. Get more information about Minimum Wage rates in Zambia at mywage.org/zambia

Complete our Salary Survey and Win a Wage!

 

 

Civil Servants and Allied Workers Union of Zambia (CSAWU) President, Leonard  Hikaumba, has called for an increase in the country’s minimum wage, which currently stands at K260,000 (US$50).

Hikaumba told Mywage Zambia: “As labour movement, when we are advocating for a rise in the Minimum Wage Act, we are doing that because we are concerned with the plight of workers. We realise that it’s not enough and have insisted that it should be increased.

“At times, even the other employers, they want to take the provisions of the Minimum Wage Act as the standard. That is why we are insisting there should be an increase in the minimum Wages Provisions.

“The argument by employers is that some of them say they cannot afford to pay more than this. Usually, at the end of one year, the ministry of labour does engage the employers and the workers to look at the review of the Minimum Wages Act or the Minimum Wages. Then the minister of labour releases a statutory increment to revise the rates…before that revision we are consulted.

“It’s unfortunate that we have these three parties, the employers of course always want it low. The government want it a little higher, and the workers higher. But there has to be a compromise because when you look at the terminal benefits, again this is prescribed in the Minimum Wages Act. The employer has to pay three months pay for each year. Now, they think that if they have to pay that as terminal benefits where the salary is high, then the terminal benefits will be higher.

“They have been suggesting that if the minimum wage is to be increased significantly, then the terminal benefits should be taken care of by the Pension schemes. They argue that Pension schemes should look at how much should be paid monthly in order to keep the benefits at the same level.

“We have also argued that it’s unfair if we are to strike off this provision because the workers will lose out. But if there is a provision that will keep their benefits at the same level, or even better, these are the discussions that are still going on now.

“The reason why it has been problematic is that some employers and senior management employees, who are not supposed to be beneficiaries to the Minimum Wage when it comes to terminal benefits, want to use that formula which is meant for vulnerable workers. Yet they are not vulnerable themselves because they can negotiate their contracts.

“But a general worker can’t. So that’s the difference, where the law is applied wrongly and they only want it applied to their advantage.

Complete our Salary Survey and Win a Wage!