Government has announced that daily minimum wage has been increased by Ghc7 (16.7 percent) from Ghc 6.
The change was announced after the tripartite committee involving government, private employers and labour, chaired by the Fair Wages and Salaries Committee which began January 13.
The Labour minister Haruna Iddrisu said taking an early decision on the public sector wage helps the Controller and Accountant General to facilitate payment of the determined base pay and daily minimum wage.
“I believe it is important for both partners, government and labour, to appreciate legitimate concerns and needs of organised labour and their demands against constraints and capacity of the budget to contain whatever they may be demanding,” the employment minister said.
He added: “It is the determination of government to work with labour to contain the wage bill.
"As a Ministry, our determination remains on the fact that improved and better economic fortunes will be better shared by both government and labour.”
Meanwhile The Ghana Employers’ Association (GEA) has in response to the announcement of a new minimum wage said they will struggle to pay.
The 16.7%, according to the Employment and Labour Relations Minister, Haruna Iddrisu, would help the Controller and Accountant General facilitate the payment of wages in the public sector.
Speaking with citifm Chief Executive Officer of GEA Alex Frempong said that most businesses in the country are not in good financial position to pay the new minimum wage.
“Some organizations or businesses apply to the Labour department to pay something other than the minimum wage because the businesses are not able to support the minimum wage.” He explained that “realistically some businesses are not doing well and setting the minimum wage at GHC 7 will create some difficulties for them.”
Mr Frempong therefore asked the government to address the challenges of small businesses in order for the new minimum wage to be effective.
“I think it is something the we need to a have an open dialogue on how small businesses can able to absorb economic short in the country, so that they can operate effectively and be in the position to pay wages that will really support the ministry of employees in this sector.”
The Chief Executive Officer revealed that the minimum wage will only affect individuals or enterprises that are paying below the stated amount.
“The communiqué is only talking about businesses who are paying below the national daily minimum wage. All other enterprises that employ workers will use their own internal mechanism to reviewing the terms and conditions of service to review wages.” “If you are paying GHC 6.5, automatically you have to operate at the threshold of GHC7,”he added.