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The CESD actively participated in the 3-day Think-Tank Initiative Exchange (TTIx) 2018 held at Bangkok, Thailand organized by the International Development Research Centre (IDRC) Canada and the Thailand Development Research Institute (TDRI) with support from the Hewlett Foundation, UKAid, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and NORAD.
CESD’s recent working paper on the implementation of Myanmar’s new minimum wage features in the ARTNeT August 2016 newsletter. ARTNeT is the Asia-Pacific Research and Training Network on Trade, a network of leading trade research institutions and think-tanks, with a community of more than 1,000 individual researchers from across the Asia-Pacific region. CESD has been an active member of ARTNeT since May 2016.
CESD’s Labor Market Reform Working Paper No. 1/2016 identifies three focus areas for policy makers to ensure an effective implementation of the recent minimum wage system, namely:
- ensuring that businesses comply with the new minimum wage law and government agencies enforce the law;
- monitoring and measuring the impacts of the minimum wage policy on different variables, including formal jobs, informal employment, wage levels, wage distribution, poverty, and social welfare;
- ongoing reviews and adjustments to the minimum wage system, to ensure it remains relevant and appropriate under changing economic and social conditions.
Since the establishment of Myanmar’s minimum wage in September 2015 (at 3,600 kyat per 8-hour day), CESD has monitored the challenges facing the implementation of the minimum wage law, and the opportunities for more effective implementation. CESD is also undertaking a legal review of labour laws related to Myanmar’s minimum wage, including the Employment and Skill Development Law, 2013, and Social Security Law, 2012.
To support this review, CESD has been meeting with representatives from different levels of government, workers organizations and industrial zones to discuss the challenges facing labour law implementation.
CESD, in partnership with IDRC have produced a short documentary on the recent process to establish a minimum wage in Myanmar.
CESD’s labour market research has been reported in Asia Research News 2016, a publication from ResearchSEA Limited. The article notes that a key challenge for labour reform in Myanmar is to balance improvements in wages and working conditions against industry’s need to retain a competitive edge.