Parliament approves indefinite postponement of minimum wage for foreigners


(Photo / Avas)

The government has proposed to postpone the payment of the minimum wage to foreigners indefinitely as the global economic crisis is affecting Maldives. The postponement proposal was approved by the People’s Majlis on Wednesday.

Maldivian employees have been getting the minimum wage starting this year.

The government had decided to postpone the payment of the minimum wage to foreigners for two years. However, in view of the current economic situation in the world, the government proposed to indefinitely postpone the approval for the minimum wage for foreigners.’

The Parliament’s Social Committee’s report on the bill was passed, with 49 votes against one.

The Bill proposed by the Government stated the current economic situation in the world is also having an adverse impact on the Maldivian economy, therefor it is not the right time to pay the minimum wage. Furthermore, the Bill stated instead of setting a specific time limit for the payment of the minimum wage, the minimum wage should be paid to foreigners on a date determined by the Minister on the advice of the Minimum Wage Advisory Board.

Concerns Expressed

Transparency Maldives has expressed concern over the bill, which was passed by Parliament on Wendesday to postpone the payment of the minimum wage to foreigners. The organization believes that the amendment will make it difficult for foreign workers to find jobs and thus will increase the unemployment rate.

Despite Transparency International’s concerns, Economic Minister Fayyaz Ismail believes that if foreigners are paid the minimum wage, the economy will collapse.

Minimum wage figures (for Maldivians):

  • Private small businesses: MVR 21.63 per hour; 4,500 per month.
  • Medium-sized private enterprises: MVR 33.65 per hour; 7,000 per month.
  • Large Private Businesses: MVR 38.46 per hour; 8,000 per month.
  • Civil servants and government companies: MVR 7,000 per month for permanent employees working six hours; 33.65 per hour for those working less than six hours