On Monday, 5 March, the Centre for Economic and Social Development (CESD) participated in the National Steering Committee for Minimum Wage meeting at the Ministry of Labour, Immigration, and Populations (MoLIP). The meeting was the culmination of nearly two years of hard work to determine Myanmar’s next minimum wage. The hard work paid off; widespread consensus was reached on the next minimum wage fixing and future consultations were set to discuss researching the policy’s impacts.

20180305_122326During previous minimum wage meetings in November and December 2017, the government proposed 4,800 Kyat wage underwent the legally mandated 60-day stakeholder feedback window. During this period, the tripartite committee met with concerned parties, explained the wage and reached stakeholder consensus.

During the 60-day feedback window, the government received 1,445 complaints from individual employers, 10 from employer associations, 2,588 from individual workers and 43 from labor organizations. The vast majority of complaints originated from the Yangon and Mandalay Regions with few dissenting opinions from other regions in Myanmar.

As a result, the tripartite committee met with the concerned parties in Mandalay, Bago, and Yangon, explained the wage, and reached a general consensus agreeing to the wage. There were no complaints from the Naypyitaw, Karen, Chin, Kaya and Kachin Regions. Workers representatives agreed to the new wage but employers indicated concerns the wage would impact their viability during the current low economic growth.

The 4,800 Kyat ($3.60) per day wage is a 33% increase from the 3,600 Kyat ($2.90) per day current wage and will be implemented in early May. To address employers’ concerns, stakeholders agreed to establish follow-up sessions to create mechanisms to research the wage and its impact on industrial.

CESD is happy to have contributed to this achievement and looks forward to conducting research to assess the policy’s impact in Myanmar.