Fixing minimum wage for private sector postponed again

Marwa Hussein, Sunday 9 Oct 2011

Egypt's Supreme Council for Wages was supposed to fix a minimum wage for the private sector

Workers (Photo: Mai Shaheen)

Egypt's Supreme Council for Wages (SCW) scheduled meeting on Sunday 9 October to fix a maximum wage failed to take place.

“Nobody called me for the meeting, that means there is no meeting today,” Amina Shafiq, a member of the SCW, told Ahram Online over the phone. Shafiq added no new dates has been set. The meeting was originally set to take place on 2 October.

The SCW, created in accordance with the Unified Working Law promulgated in 2003, dragged its feet over setting a minimum wage for years, with the subject left undiscussed. In 2009 a court decree ordered the government to address the issue.

After the verdict, the council meetings became more frequent, but with no tangible result. By the end of October 2010, the council, headed by the minister of economic development, fixed a minimum wage of LE400, bringing the government heavy criticism.

The government announced last May a minimum wage of LE700 ($110) per month for public sector employees, which is yet to be applied due to what the minister of finance describes as "a shortage in liquidity."

Private sector employees are waiting for their turn.

The new minimum wage will not be applied to small business employing less than five employees. 

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