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Over 40 percent of Maldivian workforce earn below MVR 6,000: advisory board

Mariyam Malsa
23 February 2020, MVT 18:23
Civil servants in the capital city of Male'. PHOTO: NISHAN ALI
Mariyam Malsa
23 February 2020, MVT 18:23

Minimum Wage Advisory Board released a report revealing that more than 40 percent of the Maldivian workforce earn less than MVR 6,000 as a monthly salary.

Highlighting these numbers, the board formed by President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih stated that the proposed minimum wage of MVR 6,400 would therefore benefit between 40 and 50 percent of the workforce.

The proposed figure was set following thorough research into several factors including expected costs to employers and changes in outward remittances by expatriate workers.

The report outlines several amounts that could potentially be set as a minimum wage and the proportion of the workforce that stood to benefit from them.

Proposed minimum wage and benefiting workforce percent

MVR 5,000 - 24 percent

MVR 5,500 - 33 percent

MVR 6,000 - 43 percent

MVR 6,500 - 50 percent

MVR 7,000 - 53 percent

MVR 8,000 - 62 percent

The board urged careful consideration of the research presented in the report prior to finalizing the minimum wage.

Minister of Economic Development Fayyaz Ismail earlier stated that the board's proposal was forwarded to the parliament for counsel and that the minimum wage would be decided and announced by the end of February.

Addressing public concern over the minimum wage being too low, the minister stated that forcing an unrealistic minimum wage may drive businesses to bankruptcy, leading to reductions in number of job positions.

He urged the public to accept the minimum wage decided by the state as it could be amended every two years after a review. The review could be conducted earlier in case of an economic emergency.

The International Labour Organisation (ILO) advised Maldives to settle for a minimum wage between MVR 6,000 and MVR 6,500.

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