Newly established Commission to investigate the possibility of introducing a National Minimum Wage
The Labour Ministry this week inaugurated a Wages Commission to investigate the possibility of introducing the National Minimum Wage(NMW).
The establishment of the Commission is a milestone in Namibia ‘s drive to eliminate poverty and historical income inequality.
The commission which comprises five members is expected to investigate all industries, report and make recommendations on the NMW, the Minister of Labour, Industrial Relations, Utoni Nujoma said at the event.
The members of the Commission are as follows: Dr. Marius Kudumo, chairperson; Mr. Gideon Thomas, representing the interests of registered trade unions; Ms. Edwina T. Hashikutuva, representing the interests of registered employers’ organisations; Dr. Fritz S. Nghiishililwa; and Ms. Nokokure Kariko.
The team will be assisted by the Secretariat which consists of: Ms. Fransina Nghitukwa, Administrative Clerk, and Ms. Wilhelmine Shighweda, Secretary.
All members of the Commission will attend an induction workshop next week, with the technical assistance of the ILO. This will enable them to carry out their work accordingly, the ministry added.
“Once enacted, the NMW will cover all employees across all sectors of economy expect categories of employees that might be specifically exempted by the minister,” they added.
According to Nujoma, the report from the Commission is expected to be comprised of the national minimum wage proposals and projections, implementation strategy/plan of the minimum wage, reviewing and adjusting of the NMW, enforcing of the NMW as well as other recommendations that the commission deems appropriate.
The commission is anticipated to conclude its task by 31 August, after which it shall submit the report to the minister not later than 30 September.
Meanwhile, the NMW aims to improve the wages of the lowest-paid workers; reducing income equality; alleviating poverty and improving individual and household income, creating taxation certainty and achieving a decent standard of living for all.
Namibia has been faced with serious labour challenges that mostly affect vulnerable workers that are subjected to exploitation in terms of earning a decent living wage, a situation that prompted the consideration of investigating the NMW.