Justification needed for new minimum wage determination

Minister for Labour and Industrial Relations, Alfred Manase, is calling on employer and workers’ representatives to provide justifications for a new determination to be made on minimum wages.

Minister Manase said this is in response to calls for a new minimum wage determination to be set.

He said a new determination cannot be made unless there is proper justification.

In a media conference over the weekend, the Minister said he was informed of calls from worker representative bodies requesting for a new determination to be made to the minimum wage.

The last minimum wages determination was back in 2014, with the current rate set at K3.50.

Minister Manase said a new determination can only be made once there is sufficient validation.

“It is the employers and workers who have to provide the justification that there is a need to review.

“The workers may say K3.50 an hour can’t help us survive, the cost of living has increased, and so we need that raise, and therefore the minimum wages must be lifted. That’s the justification that needs to be made to the Department and to me as the Minister responsible.”

The Minister said justifications for a new determination must be set to him to before he can convince the NEC through a Terms of Reference (ToR).

Cabinet will then ask Governor General to establish a Minimum Wages Board who will then sit to make the determination.

He said currently there is no Minimum Wages Board.

“The law doesn’t say there is a timeframe fixed, like after three years you’ve got to have a review, it does not say that.”

Cedric Patjole