The year 2022 comes to a close with a key policy announcement made by the Ministry of Labour and Social Security on Tuesday, December 27, 2022, on the revised upward adjustment to the minimum wages for un-unionized employees; domestic workers, shopkeepers, and general workers, which will take effect in January 2023. This intervention is being made in the light of the most recent revision which was completed in 2018 for specified groups of employment workers. The Jesuit Centre for Theological Reflection (JCTR), as an organization whose mission is to improve justice and equality for all, particularly the poor and vulnerable, has examined the proposed minimum wage increase from a critical social justice standpoint and offers the following observations and recommendations.
The pursuit of salary increases in any context must be viewed as a collective bargaining process or rather a balancing act in which the state seeks to reconcile workers' demands with employers' ability to meet that minimum wage. According to the Employment Code Act No.3 of 2019, a review of minimum wages and working conditions for any group of employees must be made to the Minister at least every two years, with recommendations provided. In this regard, the JCTR applauds the efforts that have been made and initiated from an evidence-based standpoint (through research) to revise wages upward through the Labour Advisory Committee. A committee comprised of members with diverse expertise.
However, the stark reality remains...read more