Minimum Wage in Belarus – Frequently Asked Questions

Is there a separate legislation relating to minimum wages in Belarus?

Yes. According to art. 59 of the Labour Code of the Republic of Belarus, minimum wage (monthly and hourly) is the state minimum social standard in the sphere of labour payment which is a must for an employer to pay a worker for the work in normal conditions during normal working hours and for the fulfillment of the responsibilities based on legislation, local norms and labour contract. The legal ground for defining the minimum wage is set by the Law of the Republic of Belarus № 124-3 dated 17.07.2002 “On setting and the order of minimum wage uprating”. The rate of minimum wage (monthly and hourly), set by the legislation, is obligatory for employers as the lower rate of payment to workers. Starting from 01.01.2015 minimum monthly wage equals 2 300 000 BYR by the decision of the Council of Ministers of the Republic of Belarus № 1094 dated 24.12.2015.

Do one or more minimum wages exist that is/are determined by law in Belarus?

Only one at the national level. Minimum wage (monthly and hourly) is set up by the Council of Ministers of the Republic of Belarus every year on January 1.

On what basis is minimum wage calculated in Belarus?

Minimum wage is set on monthly and on hourly basis conformity with art. 1 the Law of the Republic of Belarus № 124-3 dated 17.07.2002 “On setting and the order of minimum wage uprating”. According to p.5 art.4 of the Law № 124-3 dated 17.07.2002 the amount of minimum wage shall be indexed during the year in order determined by the legislation on indexation of population’s income taking into account inflation rate.

In case of weekly/monthly minimum age, are they based on any fixed number of hours?

Yes. Minimum wage is calculated for work in normal conditions with fulfilment of the set (monthly or hourly) work norm. According to art. 112 of the Labour Code of the Republic of Belarus the full norm of working time can’t exceed 40 hours a week. According to art. 88 of the Labour Code under piece-rate system billing rates are defined on the basis of set job classes, tariff rates (wages) and output norms (time norms). Piece-rate is calculated by dividing hourly (daily) tariff rate, corresponding to the class of work performed, by hourly (daily) norm of output or by multiplying hourly (daily) tariff rate corresponding to the class of the work performed, by the set time norm in hours or days.

Are governmental bodies, employer and/or trade union representatives involved in minimum wages setting?

No. According to the Law “On setting and order of minimum wage upratings“No. 124-3 dated 17.07.2002 the amount of minimum wage is regulated unilaterally by the government.

How are upratings (adjustments) of minimum wage(s) decided upon?

The rates of minimum wage (monthly and hourly) according to art. 2 of the Law No. 124-3 dated on 17.07.2002 are set by the Council of Ministers of the Republic of Belarus every year on January 1. Besides, during the last 16 years minimum wage was 4 times raised by the President’s decrees: dated on November, 1 1994, November 1, 2004, January 1, 2006 and November 1, 2010 (mainly just before coming presidential elections).

What is/are the yardstick/s on which minimum wage upratings are based?

Minimum monthly wage rate is defined taking into account: 1) economic possibilities of national and local budgets as well as that of employers; 2) the needs of workers in material goods and services; 3) employment rate and labour productivity; 4) the forecast of growth of consumer prices; 5) the level of nominal gross average wage in the country as a whole.

What is the poverty line in Belarus?

Decree of the Ministry of Labor and Social Protection of the Republic of Belarus of January 20, 2016 № 4 approved the following dimension of the subsistence minimum in the average per capita in terms of numbers 1 591 310 BYR for the period from February 1, 2016 on April 30, 2016.

How often is poverty line updated?

The poverty line is updated quarterly according to art. 4 the Law of the Republic of Belarus "About a living wage in Belarus" 06.01.1999 №239-З. Periods: in the prices of December - from 1 February to 30 April; in the prices of March - from May 1 to July 31; in the prices of June - from 1 August to 31 October; in the prices of September - from November 1 to January 31 (According to Resolution of Council of Ministers of Republic of Belarus 04.09.2014 № 865 "On approval of the minimum subsistence level for the main socio-demographic groups and the Regulations on the procedure for calculating the minimum subsistence budget for the main socio-demographic groups in average per capita")

When was poverty line last updated?

Poverty line was last updated in February, 2016

What is the percentage of minimum wage relative to the current poverty line?

Since February 2016 the percentage of the minimum wage to the current poverty line is 144,5%.

What is the incidence of minimum wages in the national labour force (wage earners only)?

There is no statistics on workers earning minimum wage in Belarus. According to different sources this number can range from 12 to 30%.

How is minimum wages compliance regulated?

According to chapter 39 of the Labour Code of the Republic of Belarus, minimum wages compliance is regulated by specially authorized representatives of state bodies of supervision and control as it is prescribed by the legislation. These bodies are: State labour inspection department of the Ministry of Labour and Social protection of the Republic of Belarus, prosecutor’s office and some other national and local bodies.

Which legal sanctions can be applied in compliance is lacking?

According to part 1 art. 9.19 of the Administrative Code, the breaching of the order and terms of wage payment is punished by the fine in amount from 4 (140 000 BYR) up to 20 (700 000 BYR) basic units for persons and up to 100 basic units or 3 500 000 BYR for legal entity. According to art. 465 of the Labour Code of the Republic of Belarus persons and legal entities guilty of violating the labour legislation are subjects to disciplinary, administrative, criminal and other type of punishment according to the law.

Are sanctions often being applied?

According to the report of State labour inspection of Ministry of Labour and Social protection of the Republic of Belarus for the first half of 2015: 3917 revealed violations of the terms of payment of wages. For these violations administratively liable to a fine of employers involved in 2287 and 2308 the authorized officials in the amount of 6.6092 billion. BYR. http://www.mintrud.gov.by/ru/o-provedenii-proverok-svoevremennosti-vyplaty-zarabotnoj-platy-v-respublike-belarus

Are employer and/or trade union representatives involved in compliance procedures?

No, because the minimum wage is regulated and set by the government. Trade unions can only maintain public control over the observance of labour legislation, having the right to ask and get the necessary for it information from employer or/and state bodies.

To whom/Where can individuals complain, if they think they are earning less than minimum wage?

In case of breaching of the order and terms of minimum wage payment a citizen has the right to file a complaint to the Ministry of Labour and Social Protection of the Republic of Belarus or its territorial inspections, prosecutor’s office, court, superior organization and also to some other administrative bodies.

Which month of the year is minimum wage rate revised in Belarus?

Starting from 01.01.2015 minimum monthly wage equals 2100100 BYR by the decision of the Council of Ministers of the Republic of Belarus № 1115 dated 09.12.2014.

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