Government has announced an upward adjustment in the minimum wage and conditions of service for non-unionized and vulnerable workers across all sectors.
Labour and Social Security Minister, Brendah Tambatamba, said the upward adjustment in minimum wage for domestic workers, shop workers and employees was covered under the general order.
Tambatamba made the announcement in Lusaka on Monday during a media briefing.
She said the approved minimum wage and conditions of service were arrived at after extensive consultations with the Tripartite Consultative Labour Council (TCLC) and other stakeholders.
“The recommendation of the TCLC to revise the minimum wage was premised on the fact that the last revision of the minimum wage was done in 2018,” Tambatamba said.
She said arising from the recommendations of the TCLC in 2021, the Labour Advisory Committee (LAC) undertook an inquiry into the wages and conditions of service in the country.
Tambatamba said the purpose of the inquiry was to make recommendations on the minimum wages and conditions of employment to the Minister of Labour and Social Security.
“To ensure evidence based revision and formulation of minimum wages, the LAC engaged the Zambia Institute for Policy and Research (ZIPAR) to undertake a study of numerous variables that impact the minimum wages including inflation, unemployment rate and capacity of employers to pay,” she said.
Tambatamba said government had also offered incentives to employers which included the reduction in the penalty rate which was applicable under the National Pensions Scheme Authority (NAPSA) from 20 percent to 10 percent.
She said Cabinet had approved the issuance of the Statutory Instrument on NAPSA penalty waiver.
Read More: Cabinet has approved the issuance of a Statutory Instrument on the review of the minimum wages and conditions of service for domestic workers, shop workers and employees covered under the General Order.
“This will among other things reduce the debt burden for businesses and allow employers to clear their outstanding dues with NAPSA with the incentive that part of the debt would be written off, provide to businesses that were hard hit during the COVID-19 pandemic,” Tambatamba said.
She added that this would encourage small scale businesses, including employers from the informal economy to register their employees with NAPSA and not worry about high penalties for non-payment of past contributions, and also enhance compliance levels.
Tambatamba said the approved minimum wage and conditions of service would take effect on January, 1, 2024.
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