KIGALI - he government plans to introduce a minimum wage for employees in the country by the end of next month.
Currently, the Labour Law doesn’t provide for the minimum wage. The Public Service and Labour ministry has announced that it’s amending the law to pave way for the minimum wage.
The amendment will be completed by February, ministry officials said early this week.
The State Minister for Skills Development and Labour, Angelina Muganza, said on Monday, adding that introducing the minimum wage would promote consistency in determining what best the employee can get from their contribution in any institution.
Muganza was speaking during a seminar organised by the Ministry of Public Service and Labour to review its achievements and future plans at Hotel Novotel, Umubano. “It is in our plans this year to see how we can put in place the minimum wage of public, private, Non Government Organisations (NGOs) and civil servants in the new labour law,” Muganza explained.
If approved by the Cabinet, the law will protect employees from exploitation by the employers. It will also solve the problem of disparities in salaries of employees in various institutions.
There are disparities in salaries within government departments and the private sector with some employees being paid more than others. This has raised concern among labour and human rights activists that Rwandans may be exploited more, without the law in place.
Muganza said her ministry was getting help from the International Labour Organisation (ILO) to come up with strategies of implementing the minimum wage.She added that the law will be enforced after consultations with all stakeholders including government institutions, the private sector and NGOs.
“We shall consult them on setting a wage that would not be a problem to all our potential employers,” she said.
The move comes at the same time when government is in the process of extending working hours for public servants from 40 to 48 hours per week. While speaking at the same seminar on Monday, Public Service and Labour minister Prof. Manasseh Nshuti, said that increasing the working hours would encourage Rwandans to work harder and help support government’s development programmes.