Michael Makuza, Business Reporter
THE National Employment Council (NEC) for the agriculture sector and its social partners have adopted new provisions for payment of minimum wages in US-dollar terms or equivalent in Zim-dollar at prevailing official exchange rate effective September 1, 2022.
The latest development has been agreed upon by employers and workers’ representatives in the sector and will be payable at the interbank rate on the 20th of the concerned month.
“Wages may be paid to employees in United States dollar or Zimbabwean dollar. The schedule provides the minimum monthly wages for the agro subsector in the United States dollar,” reads part of the notice from NEC Agriculture.
“The minimum wages payable to employees in Zimbabwean dollar shall be determined by converting the applicable United States dollar minimum wage to the Zimbabwean dollar at the interbank rate prevailing on the 20th of the month for which remuneration is due to the employees.”
According to the notice, the social parties constituting the National Employment Council for the Agricultural Industry in Zimbabwe (NECAIZ) include; the Zimbabwe Agricultural Employers Organisation (ZAEO), Zimbabwe Commercial Farmers Union (ZCFU), Zimbabwe Farmers Union (ZFU), Commercial Farmers Union (CFU) and agro-employer representatives on the employers’ side and General Agriculture and Plantation Workers’ Union of Zimbabwe (GAPWUZ) and Horticulture, General Agriculture and Plantation Workers’ Union of Zimbabwe (HGAPWUZ) on the employers side.
The notice further provides a schedule showing the equivalent Zimbabwean dollar minimum monthly wages for the month of September determined by the prevailing rate as of 20 September 2022, which stood at US$1: $608,70.
Prior to the latest adjustment, the lowest paid employee was earning $60, 692 but this has now been reviewed to $65 131, which is equivalent to US$107 using the interbank rate.
The highest paid is at $129 045, which is equivalent to US$212 after being reviewed from $119 873 in August.
Government has set the pace by paying civil servants partly in foreign currency with the other component payable in local dollar. Workers’ unions have also been lobbying the private sector to adopt the same model citing loss of value for the local dollar salaries.