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Monday, 23 July 2012

Minimum Wage Changes are Final

By Jessica Achberger

Many employers have followed with interest and concern the changes to the Zambian minimum wage, first published in the  Government Gazette on 4 July 2012. The Times of Zambia reported on 12 July that for some categories, the wage increases would be as much as 100 percent. Domestic workers' salaries, for instance, have been raised from K250,000 to K420,000 in basic pay per month.

Now, the changes have now been made final. Reported by the Times of Zambia, Labour and Social Security Minister, Fackson Shamenda, argued:

...Government was ready to get whatever humiliation over the minimum wage because the move was aimed at improving the working conditions of the poor people on whose premise the PF Government campaigned.
Asked by Mr Namulambe on what the immediate and long term effects of the raised minimum wages on the economy were, Mr Shamenda said Government expected increased productivity from highly motivated workers.
"The raised wages will stimulate consumption by putting more money in the pockets of low income earners and the standard of living for the poorest and most vulnerable workers will be increased," he said.
How this will affect overall unemployment levels, however, is another question. While it is true that the minimum wage in many sectors was long overdue for an increase, this is a very significant rise with little warning for employers to adjust their budgets accordingly. Therefore, it remains to be seen whether the increase causes a spike in unemployment levels from employers who are unprepared to follow the new minimum wage requirements so quickly. 


  1. Domestic workers' salaries, for instance, have been raised from K250,000 to K420,000 in basic pay per month.

    K420,000 at K5000/USD, is $84 per month.

    The JCTR stated that the actual costs of living for a family of 6 in Lusaka is $600 per month.

    And $84 per month is what they are getting grief over? It is more than high time that employers start to understand that their employees need to live, and need to earn a wage that covers their total living expenses.

    This is not 'a gift', this is the real cost of labour.

    There are too many individuals around who have fallen in love with free labour.

  2. things are happening now,,,,,,,change we looking for is here

  3. It is a pity that people who are creating employment have been burdened with a 100% increase in would think that the slogan " more money in peoples pockets" would mean that the government was going to create more jobs thereby adding money to peoples pockets and not putting the whole burden on companies who create employment !

  4. The Government has a duty to look into the plight of its citizenry economically, financially, socially and injustices that may occur or arise in its areas of its mandate of jurisdiction.

    We thank the caring government for the sincere and humble gesture it has demonstrated to its loving zambians at large by looking into the welfare of both the employers and the employees.

  5. Employers are trying to survive the situation by passing part of the cost on to the consumer and trying to get a bit more work out of the employee. (No more standing around during working hours.)Expect at least 10% price increases across most products. It will make imports more competitive again and will close businesses that have too much import competition or where prices depend on world market prices.

  6. Yes! Thank you Hon Shamenda and the powerful PF government!


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