Low wage earners awaiting pay rise in Laos

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail Xinhua, January 19, 2015
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Laos'lowest-paid workers will have to wait until next month at least for a planned pay rise of 43.7 percent, state-run media Vientiane Times reported Monday.

The minimum wage is set to rise to 900,000 kip (110.64 U.S. dollars) from 626,000 Lao kip (77 U.S. dollars) at present.

The increase is awaiting official assent and was likely be officially announced in February, an official from the Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare was reported as saying.

This follows an increase in 2012 which saw wages rise from 348, 000 (42.80 U.S. dollars), an increase of 79.8 percent.

The rise comes as the country seeks to help lower income earners deal with rising living costs and decreased labor migration to the nation's neighbors.

With wages remaining low, many Lao nationals seek opportunities abroad across the Mekong River to Thailand with which Laos shares a linguistic and cultural familiarity.

A recent drive to provide legal status to foreign workers in Thailand saw 111,100 Lao nationals given permission to work in the country.

Some 59,000 Lao employees are being employed via local companies after being processed by Lao Department of Labour and Social Welfare.

However, it is estimated that some 200,000 Lao employees continue to work in the kingdom illegally without permission, according to figures from Thailand's Ministry of Labour, the report said. Endi

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