Employers in Malawi are living in a precarious situation as most of them face a probable long prison sentence.
Malawi24 has established that the employers are still using old monthly minimum wages despite government raising the minimum wage in June.
Minister of Finance Goodall Gondwe raised the monthly minimum wage from K17,880 to K25,012 in the 2017/2018 budget but some employers are still paying their employees less than the recommended figure.
A snap survey Malawi24 conducted by interviewing shop attendants from different shops in Dedza established that a lot of employers are still paying workers K20,000 with other employees getting less than K15,000.
The workers said this is affecting their daily lives since prices of various goods have been raised.
Asked if they have taken any action on the issue, many of the employees said they are afraid of forcing their bosses to raise their wages as they might lose their jobs.
Commenting on the issue, Dedza district labour officer Felix Mbaka said it is very disappointing to see that employers in the district are paying their employees less than government approved minimum wage.
“What we can say to them is that they should abide by what government approved so that the strikes should be prevented,” Mbaka said.
He then urged the employees to notify the labour office of any misconduct by their employers so that the office should force the bosses to raise the wages.
Mbaka said it is not possible for the office to reach every employer in the district hence the need for the employees to notify the labour office.
According to Employment Act number 6 of 2000, employers who do not abide by the government’s approved monthly minimum wage could be fined K50,000 or sentenced to 14 years imprisonment with hard labour by the Industrial Relations Court.