23 März 2021 | Wirtschaft

Commission seek input on minimum wage

Alleviating poverty, reducing income inequality, and improving household incomes and living standards.

Public hearings is to afford everyone the opportunity to appear before the commission and make their presentations. Marius Kudumo, Chairperson: Wages Commission

PHILLEPUS UUSIKU

The Wages Commission is seeking input from the general public to investigate relevant industries and make recommendations to the ministry of labour on a proposed minimum wage in Namibia.

At media briefing last week, Marius Kudumo, chairperson of the Wages Commission noted that Namibia is faced with magnitudes of challenges in labour and employment across all sectors of the economy and socially, including the impact of Covid-19 on livelihoods.

It is against this background the commission has set objectives to improve the wages of the lowest paid workers, reduce inequality, alleviate poverty and ensure a decent living for all, he said.

The commission will investigate amongst other issues, contract of employment for employees, other conditions related to the minimum wage, period of working time on which the minimum wage should be calculated as well as whether there should be a minimum premium rate for part time workers.

Furthermore, the commission is keen to investigate issues related to categories of employees that should be exempted from the right to the national minimum wage or should be entitled to less than 100% of the national wage.

In addition, the needs of workers and families as well as cost of living will be taken into consideration. An assessment will also be made on the potential impacts of the national minimum wage on the individual income and whether employers will be able to carry on with their businesses if they are required to pay the recommended minimum wage, he added.

Lastly, apprenticeships will be investigated if a minimum wage is required and most importantly the most effective method to enforce the minimum will be investigated.

Methodology

The commission define an employee as a person engaged in an employment relationship who is entitled to receive wages for work perform.

In addition, the commission define a wage as an amount of money payable to an employee on an hourly, daily, weekly and monthly basis in respect of ordinary hours of work, and excludes premium payments for overtime, work on Sundays and public holidays as well as employment allowances.

Therefore, a work plan indicating all key activities, timeframes and deliverables has been developed by the commission.

The methods of collecting information consist of written and oral representation at the public hearings as well as expert inputs, and comprehensive literature review, including on international lessons and experiences.

The commission commenced with the first public hearing in Windhoek today at the Ministry of Labour, Industrial Relations and Employment.

“We will also visit Gobabis, Keetmanshoop, Aussenkher, Otjiwarongo, Opuwo, Oshakati, Eenhana, rundu Katima Mulilo and Swakopmung with dates to be communicated at a later stage,” Kudumo pointed out.

“The public hearings is to afford everyone the opportunity to appear before the commission and make their presentations, especially those who are not in a position to make their written submission,” he said.

The written representations are to be submitted not later than 30 June this year as the commission is expected to submit a report with recommendations to the ministry of labour not later than 30 September this year.

Kudumo call upon individuals, trade unions and employers of organisations make their contributions as it will enhance the quality of the report.

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