he Zambian government on Tuesday announced an upward adjustment for the minimum wages of vulnerable employees in the country.
Minister of Labour and Social Security Brenda Tambatamba said the government has increased minimum wages for domestic workers, shopkeepers and general workers, with the new wages coming into effect in January next year.
“Government has concluded the consultation process with tripartite constituencies and other key stakeholders on the revision of the minimum wages and conditions of employment for the vulnerable categories of employees,” she told reporters during a press briefing.
According to her, the Tripartite Labor Council passed a resolution at its meeting held on April 24, 2021, to review the existing minimum wages and conditions of employment and formulate sector-based wages and conditions of employment for various sectors.
As per the revised wages, the minimum wage for domestic workers has been revised from 993 Zambian Kwacha (about 55 U.S. dollars) to 1,300 Kwacha (about 72 U.S. dollars) per month, while the minimum wage for general workers has been increased from 1,698 Kwacha (about 94 U.S. dollars) to 2,313 Kwacha (about 129 U.S. dollars) per month.
The minister said the revised minimum wages will only apply to vulnerable categories of employees and not unionized workers.
The government, she said, was currently having more consultations on revising minimum wages and conditions of service for employees in respective sectors of the economy.
The minister said the government engaged a renowned local research body to conduct research to ensure that the adjustment was based on empirical evidence such as inflationary pressures.
She further said the Inspectorate Department within the ministry will be conducting periodical inspections to ensure compliance by employers, adding that all those who will not comply with face the wrath of the law.