Laos to Raise Minimum Wage by March This Year

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Garment factory in Laos (Photo: ILO)
Garment factory in Laos (Photo: ILO)

Lawmakers have begun discussions surrounding a raise of the national minumum wage amid inflation and an increasing cost of living.
Authorities in Laos have discussed increasing the minimum wage for domestic workers, with the pay rise to take effect in March this year after final approval by the government, Lao National Radio reports.

Vice President of the Lao Federation of Trade Unions, Mr. Phonesane Vilaymeng, says the current minimum wage in Laos is LAK 1,100,000 (approximately USD 95) per person per month after the last minimum wage increase was approved in mid-2018.

He said that the cost of living has continued to increase, with high prices at markets directly affecting low-wage employees in the country.

“The high cost of living affects thousands of workers across the country working in four sectors, namely agriculture, industry, services, and construction,” said Vice President Phonesane.

“We have recommended that the minimum wage be increased from LAK 1,100,000 per month to LAK 1,500,000 per month. We are now seeking official confirmation after government approval,” Mr. Phonesane Vilaymeng added.

The Lao Federation of Trade Unions, as well as the Ministry of Labor and Social Welfare and the Lao National Chamber of Commerce and Industry, will hold a final discussion on increasing the minimum wage and are expected to announce the increase early this year, according to Mr. Phonesane Vilaymeng.

The government of Laos last raised the minimum wage on May 1, 2018, from LAK 900,000 to LAK 1,100,000.