The government of Laos has officially approved an increase to the nation’s minimum wage, from 900,000 kip to 1.1 million kip per month, according to a statement from the Prime Minister’s Office.
The increase will take effect from 1 May to coincide with International Labor Day.
According to Director General of the Lao Federation of Trade Unions (LFTU) Labor Protection Department, Mr Ounkham Ounyaseng, the wage increase will prove critical to improving the livlihoods of many Lao people.
He says that 900,000 kip is not enough to live on, with the cost of household goods steadily increasing in Laos. Employers must sympathise with their employees and assist them in improving their living standards.
Mr Ounkham also stated that he believed many employers didn’t have a good understanding of the concept of a legal minimum wage, or other rightful benefits such as overtime.
While some employers have stated that the wage increase may make recruitment more difficult, many entrapraneurs believe that the wage increase will attract the interest of laborers who may otherwise have sought work in neighboring countries, where wages are higher.
The last time the minimum wage was increased was in 2015.
In recent years, the increased cost of living has contributed to the growing trade deficit in Laos.
The Lao Minister of Industry and Commerce, Mrs Khemmani Pholsena spoke at a National Assembly session last year, saying that the prices of food staples in Laos are 10-20 percent higher than market prices in Thailand and Vietnam.
Source: Vientiane Times