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Top 10 Countries With The Lowest Minimum Wage In The World

Minimum wage could be seen as the least amount of money paid to a worker in the public sector. According to the International Labour Organisation (ILO),

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“Minimum wages have been defined as the minimum amount of remuneration that an employer is required to pay wage earners for the work performed during a given period, which cannot be reduced by collective agreement or an individual contract.”

More than 90 countries of the world accepted and implemented the standard definition by ILO. However, the economically disadvantaged and poor countries could not do so, based on their financial capabilities.

 The minimum wage could be calculated on an hourly, daily, weekly, or monthly basis. The amount to be paid as minimum wage is usually set by the government of a country, the major aim is to protect the interest of the employees. This is usually in accordance with the standard of living of that country. Therefore, minimum wages vary from country to country.

The underlying concept of minimum wage is to set a universal standard for the least amount the employer is expected to pay his or her employees. While some countries set a single national rate for minimum wages, there could be other minimum rates determined by the regions, industries, occupation, or age of other countries. There are also some types of workers that could be exempted from the minimum wage rate – the self-employed, family enterprises, agricultural and domestic labour, and so on.

Also, laws do not permit a worker to accept any pay below the minimum wage because it could lead to some economic and social problems. Assuming you are being cheated in this situation, it is your duty to report to the relevant authorities. If not, you are guilty of violating laws guiding labour.

What are the Components of Minimum Wage?

The minimum wage is made up of the basic wage and a number of allowances. This consists of:

  • The basic wage as agreed in the contract
  • Performance related payments and some allowances for shift work, irregular hours or days, among others
  • Weekly or monthly fixed payments for the turnover generated
  • Work-related payments by third parties in form of tips or payments. This must be in agreement with your employer.

The following are not included in the minimum wage:

  • Overtime pay
  • Leave allowance
  • Profit shares
  • Special payments like commission or incidental payments in form of incentives
  • Future payments to be received that is subsequent to certain conditions. Pension, gratuity, saving schemes to which the employer contributes, and so on, fall under this category
  • Expense allowance
  • End of year allowance.

In addition to this, your payslip will determine the minimum wage that is payable to you. For those who work part-time, your gross minimum wage is calculated based on the number of hours you put into the job. You also need to understand that your gross minimum wage is proportionally lower.

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Below are the top 10 countries with the lowest minimum wage in the world:

  1. Kyrgyzstan

Kyrgyzstan is a Republican state in the Central part of Asia. It got ceded to Russian dominance in the 19th century. However, its Independence took place in 1991.

The country is blessed with enough mineral resources like gas, oil, and other minor constituents. The average monthly minimum wage of a person working legally in this country is 1140 Kyrgyzstani and approximately $14. This made it the least on the list. This minimum wage has been in force since 1st January 2017.

  1. Bangladesh

Bangladesh is a Republican state in the southern part of Asia. It was then known as the Eastern Province of Pakistan. The country experienced a brutal civil war that led to its Independence in 1971.

The major economic product in Bangladesh is jute and it contributes about 60% of the global production of jute. Bangladesh’s minimum wage structure is not the same all over the country; it varies from one industry to another. In every five-year interval, the country’s National Minimum Wage Board uses a three-dimensional forum to determine the minimum wage for the industries serially.

As a result, an employee in a garment industry receives a $68 minimum wage, while those employed in the economic sector go home with a fixed minimum wage of $19 per month. Actually, those in the economic sector are not bound by the ‘industry-specific wage’ and therefore are poorly paid.

  1. Venezuela

Venezuela is a South American country with a lot of economic potentials. However, bad governance and corrupt government pulled down their economy. As a result, they are currently facing the highest hyperinflation and devalued currency. Due to the economic instability of the country, it is difficult to calculate its minimum wage. Most often than not, the black market determines the price of the dollar. At this unofficial rate, the minimum wage currently falls under $20 per month.

With an instinct to survive, many Venezuelans are resorting to online jobs and they are paid in dollars. Highly skilled professionals in Venezuela struggle to make ends meet. Most of them are found in remote jobs like graphic design, programming, and related jobs. Therefore, hiring remote workers in Venezuela could be an interesting thing to do.

  1. Cuba

Cuba is considered the largest Caribbean country. It is a Republican state founded by Columbus in 1492 and was colonized by Spain until its Independence in 1898. This is the reason its official language is Spanish. Although it gained its Independence quite early, it was still under the control of the United States until 1960 when it became a Republican state.

The largest export commodity of Cuba is sugarcane and it constitutes over 70% of the country’s export. The entire landmass of Cuba stretches across 110 922 square kilometers.

Furthermore, the minimum wage of Cuba is $30.16 (402 Cuban pesos) per month. This minimum wage includes bonuses and the salaries paid vary among different job categories. However, to supplement the meager minimum salary, each Cuban employee is offered free food.

  1. Albania

Albania is one of the European countries with a good standard of living, low cost of living, and attractive taxation policies. In the 1980s, Albania experienced a national crisis which led to a fall in their communism by 1992. Even at that, the country has been progressively resurrecting from the effect of the crisis.

The minimum wage of Albania is $210 per month. Although it is high for a developing country, it could be seen as very low for a European country. The amount may not cater to the needs of the people and so, the majority of the people are found with two or more jobs in order to meet up with the financial demands.

  1. Malaysia

Malaysia is a country that understood the meaning of foreign investments. Its economy offers the largest and cheapest labor force, even as it enjoys a low cost of living. The Malaysian monthly minimum wage is $243.

There are numerous job openings in the country with the younger generation passing on full-time jobs to find more beneficial opportunities.  The most outstanding job opportunities in the country are computer science, graphic design, business management, and marketing and these can be offered remotely online. The central African Republic

  1. South Africa

This African country has defied the odds and risen far above other countries in the Black Continent. With a population of about 50 million people, its minimum wage is $277 per month. It has a budding market for entrepreneurs and business-minded individuals.

It is not surprising too that the vibrant young generation has taken over the internet, offering their services remotely to people with global mindsets. Some of the most lucrative jobs in South Africa include software engineers, product managers, account managers, sales directors, and data scientists.

  1. Ukraine

Like Venezuela, Ukraine is another country with a budding economy destroyed by corruption and bad governance. Despite the challenges, Ukrainians still have a better minimum wage than some countries. Today, the minimum wage is $212.

  1. Iran

Iran, just like Venezuela and Ukraine, is experiencing an economic crisis and currency devaluation. Most of their foreign currency rates are determined by the black market, even as the government has made so much effort to stabilize the exchange rate. It is not surprising then to see 1 dollar selling for 110 000 Iranian rials.

The official minimum wage of Iran is $216 per month, while the unofficial rate is $100 per month.

  1. Morocco

Like Bangladesh, Morocco is a country with varying minimum wages for various sectors of the economy. The minimum wage in the public sector is about $310 per month, while the private sector pays about $265 at the same interval. However, most Moroccans work in the private sector, making them be generally classified as a country with a low minimum wage. In Africa, though, it has one of the best economies with well-equipped universities and highly skilled professionals. Most of their skills are found in the marketing, engineering, sales, and human resource sectors.

Before concluding, it is important to note that most minimum wages exist on paper. Some employers in some countries do not meet the minimum wage requirements with anyone to curtail their excesses. Hence, the employees bear the consequences of the injustice. Also due to the cost of waging a legal battle against the employers for minimum wage, the employees, accept their fate just like that.

The declining value of the federal minimum wage is a factor that needs to be given urgent attention as this grossly affects the standard of living of the citizens. The minimum salary is meant to lift works out of poverty as well as raise the income level of workers in a given setting. In the same way, we have countries with the lowest minimum, we also have countries with the highest minimum.