Malé, Maldives – Minimum wage can be set between MVR 4,000 and MVR 8,000 as monthly wage under the Employment Act amendment ratified in September 2020.
Meanwhile, Minimum Wage Advisory Board has recommended MVR 6,400 (USD 415) as monthly minimum wage.
The parliament of Maldives has given until end of this year to assign a minimum wage. Minister of Economic Development, Fayyaz Ismail has said to “Mihaaru” news that minimum wage will be decided after taking the impact of Covid-19 pandemic into consideration.
In an earlier tweet the Economic Minister stated that even though 2020 was a year of hardship, 2021 was more hopeful and that minimum wage would be implemented according to the newly amended Employment Act.
Minister Fayyaz also added that he hopes to have Industrial Relations Act and Occupational Health and Safety Act passed in 2021.
Although minimum wage was initially proposed for seven sectors, two more were passed by the committee before the bill was passed by parliament.
According to a report released by the board, roughly 40 percent of the Maldivian workforce were found to earn less than MVR 6000 a month. The International Labour Organisation (ILO) had also advised Maldives to set a minimum wage between MVR 6,000 and MVR 6,500.
Addressing public concern over the minimum wage being too low, Minister of Economic Development Fayyaz Ismail, had previously stated that forcing an unrealistic minimum wage may drive businesses to bankruptcy, leading to possible reductions in the number of total available jobs as well as other negative consequences.
He also urged the public to accept the minimum wage as decided by the state owing to the fact that the value could be amended every two years after a review. In the case of an economic emergency, said review can be conducted at an earlier date.
As the declaration of a minimum wage is a presidential pledge of President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih, public criticism has been aimed at the government for the delay in announcing the minimum wage of the country.