The minimum wage
The minimum wage

The minimum wage is the smallest amount of money that the employer must pay the employee as an exchange for his labor in the company; of course that this minimum salary must cover all the basic needs of the employee and the family, such as food, housing, health, education, recreation and dressing, however in our country the minimum wage is so low that in most of the cases is not possible to cover all these needs.

The article 144 of our labor code says that every employee, has the right to earn a minimum wage capable to cover the normal needs of his home, in the material, moral and cultural order, and it will be periodically fixed.

The minimum wage is not general for the whole country, there are different minimum wages depending of the sector where the employee works, the sectors are: clothing factory, textile and confection, industry, trade and service, agriculture, coffee crop collecting, sugar crop collecting, cotton crop collecting, coffee benefits and cotton and sugar benefits.

The highest minimum wage is in the trade and services sector, two hundred fifty one U.S. dollars and seventy cents, the lowest is in the cotton crop collecting with ninety eight U.S. dollars and seventy cents. The minimum wage used for reference in general for example when the laws and codes refer to fines valued in minimum wages is making reference to the minimum wage from the trade and service sector. 

According to the article 159 of the labor code the fixed minimum wages will be checked at least every three years, in nineteen ninety six the fixed minimum wage was one hundred thirty two U.S. Dollars, since there, it has been constantly increased, in July two thousand thirteen it was increased to two hundred twenty four U.S. dollars and ten cents, by January two thousand fourteen was increased to two hundred forty two U.S. dollars and forty cents, and by January two thousand fifteen was increased to two hundred fifty one U.S. dollars and seventy cents.

As we can see the minimum wage has been constantly increased, and the amount in nineteen years has been increased  one hundred nineteen dollars and seventy cents an average of six point three dollars a year, however, is the current minimum wage enough to cover what it is meant to cover? Does it cover the normal needs of a home according to the article 144 of the labor code?.

According to the Direccion General de Estadisticas y Censos The basic food basket represents the minimum caloric requirement that a person needs to develop the labor activities; the urban basic food basket by February two thousand fifteen is one hundred ninety three U.S. dollars and sixty one cents and the rural basic food basket is one hundred thirty nine U.S. dollars and ninety two cents, it doesn’t include housing, recreation, dressing, health and education (these two last are supposed to be free provided by the  government).

The private sector, the entrepreneurs don’t want to let one penny go, and their position about the topic is that the higher is the minimum wage, the less employees they can hire and pay, so the consequence of raising the minimum wage to an acceptable number would be a high number of fired employees. 

As is possible to see it is hard to survive to the Salvadoran family with this  little money monthly earned, efforts have been made in order to stretch the minimum wage, however it is not enough, the private sector must consider helping the workers that hold the economical system.

Si deseas citar este artículo, hazlo así:

AVENDAÑO, MARCELO. “THE MINIMUM WAGE IN EL SALVADOR”. Publicado en la Revista Jurídica Digital “Enfoque Jurídico” el 17 de abril de 2015.