Egypt announced that January marks the beginning of increased salaries for private sector workers, with a minimum wage of LE 2,400 – a first for the nation’s private sector.
The National Council for Wages decided that the implementation of the minimum wage for the private sector will be mandatory as of January 1.
Minister of Planning and Economic Development and head of the National Council for Wages, Hala al-Saeed, said that implementing the minimum wage for workers and the periodic bonus in the private sector is an unprecedented move.
The council aimed to achieve a balance between the right of workers to an appropriate wage to ensure an adequate standard of living, and understanding the economic conditions experienced by some private institutions.
Saeed confirmed that the decisions of the National Council for Wages are binding and that increasing the salaries of the private sector is in line with the new labor law currently being discussed in parliament.
The minister stressed there will be penalties for companies that are not committed to applying the minimum wage – these fines will be between LE 1,000 and LE 5,000 per each employee.
The value of the new periodic bonus is also three percent of the value of the insurance wage, with a minimum of LE70 for the bonus.
A representative of the Egyptian Trade Union Federation in the National Council for Wages Magdy al-Badawy said that with the exception of establishments that submitted requests for exemption from the 2022 salary increase due to economic conditions, the minimum salary payment will be applied with January salaries – unless they already receive the same value of LE 2,400.
The National Council for Wages received 5,945 requests from private sector establishments in 22 sectors to exclude them from applying the minimum wage due to their economic conditions. At the end of October, the council ended the period for receiving requests for exemptions.
From July to October, the council had reached 5,940 requests, including 3,090 individual ones.
The National Council for Wages is responsible for setting a minimum wage at the national level and reviewing the minimum wage at the end of each fiscal year. It takes into account the development of prices and the cost of living, in addition to examining the complaints of establishments that are unable to pay the periodic increment, and examining the wage structure for the various professions, sectors, and activities in the country.