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February 29, 2020

National committee on minimum wage approves Ks4,800 for daily wages

By May Thet Hnin

Workers process fish at cold storage factory in Yangon. Photo: Phoe Khwar
Workers process fish at cold storage factory in Yangon. Photo: Phoe Khwar

The national committee on minimum wage decided yesterday to set the average daily wage at Ks4,800, offering Ks600 per hour.
This rate has been set depending on the proposed minimum wage on 2 January. Through the respective region and state committees, employers and labourers are allowed to oppose the proposed minimum wage within 60 days of announcement. The committee received 4,092 complaints, which showed that most of the labourers wanted an average minimum wage of Ks5,600, while the employers were not willing to pay above Ks4,000. The minimum wage was set after the related region and state committees held a series of discussions with employers and labourers.
“The committee members have inspected complaints submitted by 10 regions and states. The related committee on minimum wage met with employers and labourers to reach an agreement with them, and shortly afterwards, proceeded to the national committee on minimum wage to make a decision,” said Daw Khaing Zar Aung, a member of the national committee on minimum wage.
This decision was made after the fifth meeting for setting the minimum wage, which was held yesterday in Nay Pyi Taw, with attendees such as Union Minister for Labour, Immigration and Population U Thein Swe, and officials and representatives of labourers and employers.
At the meeting, the employers mentioned their difficulties such as insufficient electric power, payment for absence without leave and overtime payment. Meanwhile, the labourers raised their voices on the possible problems with the fixed minimum wage.
“Earlier, there were cases where the employers did not offer a daily wage of Ks3,600 even when the national committee on minimum wage had set it at Ks3,600. To avoid such cases, the related committee needs to be in touch with the labourers to inspect if they receive the actual minimum wage of Ks4,800, and if the employers are cutting other allowances which were previously being given,” said Daw Khaing Zar Aung.
Although several employers and labourers were dissatisfied with the previous minimum wage of Ks3,600, the government convinced them to accept it.
Union Minister U Thein Swe said at a regular meeting between Vice President and businessmen that this proposed rate was based on the commodity price, exchange rate, gross domestic product and inflation, along with wages set in neighbouring countries. They heard the employers and employees from regions and states. “We do not want to hurt anyone through this proposed rate. Based on the 2015 minimum wage calculating method, the rate is determined in line with the current exchange rate,” he said.
The national committee on minimum wage will continue to submit it to the cabinet.
After the proposed minimum wage is approved, the workers will be paid at the set rate. The new, inexperienced workers will be paid not less than 50 per cent of the minimum wages during the three-month training period (before probation period). During the three-month probation period, the labourers will receive 75 per cent of the minimum wages.

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