The government has announced a minimum wage.
The announcement includes the Minimum Wage Board’s recommendations to not include anything unrelated to wages.
According to the Minister of Economic Development, Fayyaz Ismail, the minimum wage allocated for small businesses is at MVR 21.63 per day amounting to MVR 4,500 per month.
The minimum wage for medium businesses is set at MVR 33.65 per day amounting to MVR 7,000 per month.
The minimum wage for large businesses has been set at MVR 8,000, in MVR 38.46 per day.
The minimum wage for permanent public sector workers who spend up to six hours at work, is set at MVR 7,000.
Announcing the minimum wage, Minister Fayyaz noted that the working hours for civil servants need to be amended and that discussions relating to this will commence in the near future.
The situation surrounding the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic was also considered when allocating the minimum wage. As such, the adjustments to the board’s recommendations were made in consideration of the economic factors and cost implications.
The amount to be paid as minimum wage for employees, was finalized by the Minimum Wage Board on October 5 and forwarded to the minister. As such, the minimum wage recommended for small enterprises in the private sector, was MVR 24.04 per hour which amounts to MVR 5,000 per month. Those employed at medium-sized enterprises in the private sector were to be entitled MVR 33.65 per hour amounting to MVR 7,000 per month and MVR 42.79 per hour amounting to MVR 8,900 per month, for those employed in bigger companies.
Fayyaz noted that the minimum wage would prove to be beneficial for 40 – 50 percent of the population, including 13,000 employed in the tourism industry.
The Higher Education Ministry has begun an analysis to identify challenges in recruiting locals to good employment posts, said Fayyaz, who noted that there has not been efficient work to identify the opportunities for locals.
With this being said, he stated that the Job Center will be established as a department under the ministry in the near future, which will pave way for independent opportunities.
He further noted that the Job Center will open in December, adding that those who wish to seek job opportunities may do so through assistance. Further, Fayyaz stated that the government collaborates with councils to establish special desks for the Job Center, in the councils.
Highlighting that the Attorney General’s Office is currently working on establishing a bill to ensure safety and security in work environments, Fayyaz said that the process for public opinion will begin soon. The work on the Industrial Relations Act is also proceeding.
The Employment Act mandates the economic minister to decide on a minimum wage by the end of 2021. The imposition of a minimum wage was one of the many amendments brought by the People's Majlis to the Employment Act. The act ensures that the minister must decide on the minimum wage and that employers must give the minimum wage to their employees by the end of 2021, focusing specifically on nine sectors.