The Government through the Ministry of Labour and Social Security has revised upwards the minimum wages for domestic workers, shopkeepers and general workers.
The revised minimum wage will be in effect beginning January 2023.
Minister of Labour and Social Security Brenda Tambatamba stated that in accordance with Statutory Instrument Number 69 of Domestic Workers Order of 2018, the gross pay for domestic workers will move from K993.60 to K1300.00.
In addressing the media today, Ms Tambatamba added that Statutory Instrument Number 70 of Shop Workers Order of 2018, drivers, sales assistants and packers will earn a gross pay of K2, 722.57 from K1, 994.40.
“The Minimum wage for General Workers and Cleaners has been raised from K1,698.60 to K2,313.10 in accordance with Statutory Instrument Number 70 (General) Order of 2018,” she further added
Ms Tambatamba mentioned that the upward revision of the minimum wage was arrived at following consultations with the Labour Advisory Committee/ Council, tripartite constituencies and other key stakeholders.
The Minister said that the revised minimum wage is only applicable to the vulnerable categories of employees and not the unionised employers across the country.
Ms Tambatamba disclosed that the Government will ensure strict adherence to the outlined minimum wages, adding that employers are advised to adhere to the revised wages, as failure to do this, the law will take its course.
She has since urged both employers and workers who are covered under the Minimum Wages and Conditions of Employment Orders to exercise some patience as the Government finalises the process to revise the minimum wage.
Ms Tambatamba highlighted that the Tripartite Consultative Labour Council (TCLC) tasked a resolution in the meeting held on the 23rd of April, 2021 to review the existing minimum wages, and conditions of employment and formulate the the sector based minimum wages and conditions of employment for mining and communication which is the media sectors, TCLC also resolved to subject the draft agricultural sector for minimum wages and conditions of service employment order to further consultations through the Labour Advisory Committee, which is an adhoc Committee of the Tripartite Consultative Labour Council established under Section 99 of the Employment Code Act Number 3 of 2019 of the Laws of Zambia to enquire into wages and conditions of employment in any undertaking or sector.
She said that this is inorder to recommend the minimum wages of conditions of employment to the Minister of Labour and Social Security, therefore,it is only when the Labour Advisory Council as come up with recommendations that the Minister or any other occupant of the Minister’s Office can prescribe the minimum wages by Statutory Instruments.
Ms Tambatamba explained that in a quest to ensure that the revision and formulation of minimum wages is informed by research, the Labour Advisory Council engaged the Zambia Institute of Policy and Research (ZIPA) to undertake a study of numerous variable that impact on minimum wages including inflation, unemployment rate and capacity of employers to pay.
“Following the ZIPAR research findings, the Labour Advisory Council held a meeting on 25th of October, 2022 to review the existing minimum wages and conditions of employment, thus, giving recommendations to the Minister of Labour and Social Security Office to make upwards adjustments to the minimum wages for domestic workers, shop workers, employees covered under the general order,” she explained
Ms Tambatamba noted that the Labour Advisory Council structure is broad, and consists of nine members as provided for in Section 100 of the Employment Code Act. The Labour Advisory Council consists of two (2) members representing the Government, one (1) of whom shall be from the Ministry responsible for labour as Chairperson, two (2) members nominated by the both representatives of federation of Trade Unions, two (2) members nominated by the most represented federation of employers organisations, two (2) persons with knowledge and experience in the determination of minimum wages and conditions of employment, and a representative of the national institution responsible for statistics.