GIS - 16 October 2014: The draft Report of the Study on the introduction of a National Minimum Wage in the private sector is being discussed during a two-day tripartite workshop which opened yesterday at Le Maritim Hotel, Balaclava, at the initiative of the Ministry of Labour, Industrial Relations and Employment in collaboration with the International Labour Organisation (ILO).
The document which has been prepared by an ILO consultant, Mr François Eyraud, is being presented to the tripartite constituents namely representatives of Employer’s, Worker’s and Government, for participants to examine the proposals contained therein.
The two-day workshop is also serving as platform to present the findings of the study in addition to acquainting the tripartite constituents on the various methods of minimum wage fixing calculation and procedures. The recommendations will eventually serve towards the finalisation of the report for eventual approval by Government.
Taking into consideration that the existing Minimum Wage-Fixing Machinery is rather complex with two complementary minimum wage support systems, namely, the Remuneration Order System and the Annual Salary Compensation, the draft report recommends that it is not advisable to add a new system that will render the mechanism very complex to manage and coordinate. It also provides for the salary fixing machinery to be replaced by a simple, coherent and efficient system.
In his opening address, the Minister of Labour, Industrial Relations and Employment, Mr Shakeel Mohamed, emphasised the importance of collective bargaining as being an essential tool towards the introduction of a national minimum wage system in Mauritius. He further encouraged the practice of collective bargaining regarding issues of national interest. Minister Mohamed also expressed his optimism towards reaching a consensus on the issue of minimum wage through effective bargaining and that concrete recommendations are being made towards the adoption of a national minimum wage in the private sector.
For his part, the ILO Consultant, Mr François Eyraud, spoke on the implications of introducing a national minimum wage system in Mauritius. He placed on board the various social and economic achievements of Mauritius during the past years to reach where it stands today and the vision of the country to attain the level of a high income country. He also spoke on the social and economic dimensions which have played an essential component in the preparation of the draft report on the introduction of a National Minimum Wage. He further stated that these elements are being given due consideration during the two-day workshop for determining the minimum wage fixing system in Mauritius.
Mr Eyraud also highlighted that the introduction of a minimum wage fixing system is not achieved in a day and involves the collaboration of each tripartite constituent to reach a consensus. He also cited the example of the United Kingdom, being the recent country, which has taken three years to adopt the minimum wage fixing system.
It is recalled that the minimum wage is a labour market mechanism used in majority of countries worldwide to assess minimum salary payable to employees. A total of 116 member States have ratified one or both Conventions of the ILO on minimum wage fixing and many other countries have established minimum wage fixing procedures even though they have not ratified the Conventions.
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