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The minimum wage in the private sector of activity

It has recently been published in the Official Gazette number 40 of 20 May 2015, eight Ministerial Diplomas with numbers 68/2015, 69/2015, 70/71/2015, 2015, 72/2015, 73/74/2015 2015, and 75/2015, with respect to the adjustment of the minimum wage in various sectors of activity existing, namely:

  • Sector 1 – Agriculture, Livestock and Forestry
  • Sector 2 – Fisheries
  • Sector 3 – Mining
  • Sector 4 – Manufacturing
  • Sector 5 – Electricity, Gas and Water
  • Sector 6 – Construction
  • Sector 7 – Non-financial Services; an
  • Sector 8 – Financial Services.

The updates, which were approved by the Council of Ministers are in force with effect from 1 April of this year.

It should be noted that the national minimum wage is as a result of a tripartite negotiation involving the Government, the representatives of the private sector and the representatives of Trade Unions – the Labor Consultative Committee.

Indeed, apart from the purpose of legally setting the minimum amount of salary in force in certain sectors, the minimum wage is also used as a reference in determining (i) the rate to be paid by the employer in the process of hiring foreign employees, ranging between three and ten minimum wages in force in the sector where the company is located, (ii) the amount of compensation to be paid to employees for the termination of the employment relationship in the context of termination of the contract on the initiative of the employer, with prior notice and (iii) the amount of the fines applied by the Labor Inspectorate as a result of breach of the Labor Law and other employment legislation.

Therefore, it is also important to point out that, in the private sector, the annual updating of the minimum wage only covers the Group of employees who earn the lowest value of remuneration, excluding the understanding that, on the wages of the employees who earn more than the others, there must be added an amount in proportion to the updating of the minimum wage.

Marina Thembo (Lawyer)

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