Assessment of the General Framework for Minimum Wage

28 Mar, 2017 – 5:16 pm

The general policy objective of fixing a minimum wage, as set out in the ILO Minimum Wage Convention, No. 131, and its accompanying Recommendation, No. 135, is to guarantee a minimum and acceptable level of wages and a standard of welfare for low-paid workers and their families; in addition it aims to prevent employers exploiting their most vulnerable workers.

Six criteria are to be taken into account in determining the level of the minimum wage, as set out in ILO Recommendation No. 135. They are:

  • The needs of workers and their families;
  • The general level of wages in the country;
  • The cost of living and changes therein;
  • Social security benefits if any;
  • The relative living standards of other social groups; and
  • Economic factors, including the requirements of economic development, levels of productivity and the level of employment.

The setting of ‘minimum wages’ in Mozambique is not totally in keeping with the widely recognized concept of setting a general floor to the wage structure—the minimum wage— after which collective agreements may be negotiated between employers, or their representatives, and trade unions, at the company level or at the disaggregated sectoral level.

This report discusses international best practice, regional approaches and the evolution of the current minimum wage system in Mozambique and provides recommendations for reform.

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