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Minimum Wages in Burundi - Frequently Asked Questions

Is there a separate legislation relating to minimum wages in your country?

MINIMUM WAGE AS PER LAW: In Burundi, there's no separate legislation relating to minimum wage. The fixing of the interprofessional minimum wage guaranteed in the structural sector of the national economy is determined by the Ministerial Order n. 650/11/88, from 30 April 1988. This is the application text of the Labour Code. (B.O.B., 1988, no. 9, p. 187)

MINIMUM WAGES AS IMPLEMENTED IN PRACTISE: In practice the reality is different because the fixing of the minimum wage of the ministerial order is only a reference, private companies set their minimum wages that are often higher than those in the public sector.

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

The only one minimum wage that exists is fixed by the Ministerial Order n° 650/11/88, from 30 April 1988 stating the Interprofessional Minimum Wage Guaranteed in the structural sector of the national economy.

At what level are minimum wages determined?

MINIMUM WAGE AS PER LAW: The minimum wage is determined on national level only: 160 Burundian Francs per day, for those in the urban areas of Gitega and Bujumbura; 105 Burundian Francs per day, for those in rural area. Source: Ministerial Order n. 650/11/88, from 30 April 1988 stating the interprofessional minimum wage guaranteed, Article 2.

MINIMUM WAGES AS IMPLEMENTED IN PRACTISE: In practice, some employers voluntarily pay their unskilled labourers a minimum of 1,500 Burundian francs per day. The level of guaranteed interprofessional Minimum wage (GIMW) remains extremely low compared to the cost of living. Since 1988, the minimum wage is officially set at BIF 160 in the Urban Centres of Gitega and Bujumbura and BIF 105 in rural areas [2]. Even if the State intends to bring the minimum wage to BIF 1.000 per day, this would not change much about the standard of living of workers. In 2006, a new status of officials was enacted. Pay grids brought by this statute show that the minimum base of an official non-teaching salary is BIF 10.787 per month and the highest is BIF 60.715 per month. The base salary minimum of a teaching staff member is BIF17.722 per month, the highest being 86.450 FBU per month (1).These salaries are extremely low compared to the services of security, Justice, good governance and the fight against corruption. Source: Report of the Court of Auditors of Burundi on the control of the disparities of the monetary statute in the Burundian Government.

On what basis is minimum wage calculated?

160 Burundian Francs per day, for those in the urban areas of Gitega and Bujumbura; 105 Burundian Francs per day, for those in rural area. Sources: Ministerial Order n. 650/11/88, from 30 April 1988 stating the interprofessional minimum wage, Article 2.

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

Not Applicable.

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

Minister in charge of Labour issues, Employers Association of Burundi, Central trade Unions of Burundi are involved in minimum wage setting. In principle, it is the National Labour Council (tripartite body) comprised of representatives of the Government, representatives of employers and workers which is mandatory for: 1) Study the elements that may serve as basis for the determination of the minimum wage and to proceed annually to the review of the minimum rate of wages. Source: Article 249, 1): Collection of the Burundi labour legislation (The labour code and enforcement measures), 11th edition, 1993.

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

Government decides after tripartite or bipartite body discussions/recommendations. Orders from the minister in charge of Labour issues shall be issued, after having consulted the National Labour Council, shall establish: a) The wage zones and minimum interprofessional basic wage; b) The minimum increase for overtime work and for night work, as well as for work performed during weekly rest days and holidays; c) Increase for seniority. SOURCE: Name of Act: Labour Code, Decree-law n. 1-037, 07/07/1993, Article 74,§ 3.

Which are the components of minimum wage in your country?

Not enter the counting of minimum wage, the amounts paid as a surcharge for additional hours or for reimbursement of expenses or miscellaneous premiums (seniority premiums, attendance, etc...). Source: Article 6 of the Ministerial Order n. 650/11/88, from 30 April 1988 stating the interprofessional minimum wage guaranteed in the structural sector of the national economy.

How frequently is the fixed component of minimum wage updated?

Information not available.

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

Cost of living and economic development: The minimum wage amount is calculated taking into account a way to assure workers a convenient life level, considering the current economic conjuncture. SOURCE: Name of Act: Ministerial Order n. 650/11/88, from 30 April 1988 stating the interprofessional minimum wage guaranteed in the structural sector of the national economy, Article 1.

What is National Poverty line?

Click here to know the national poverty line in context with Minimum Wage, living wages and actual wages. Select the currency (Euro or national currency) to know national poverty line.

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

The minimum wage is not enough regarding the cost of living of the wage earners. On 13 May 2008 the President of Burundi set up by decree a tripartite national commission with a mandate to formulate proposals on how to harmonize public sector pay. Analysis by the ILO in support of this commission estimated that benefits and other bonuses represented an average of 25 per cent of the wage bill, which varied between a low 20 per cent for school teachers to more than 50 per cent for employees in the Ministry of Justice, particularly those who were highly qualified. Source: Global Wage Report, Africa Brief 2010 / 11, p. 22.

How is minimum wages compliance regulated?

The minimum wage compliance is regulated by Collective Agreement

Which legal sanctions can be applied in compliance is lacking?

The authors of infringements of the provisions of articles 2, 81, 103,115 and 269 as well as their measures of executions are punished a fine from 2500 to 5000 francs, and in recidivism case, from 5000 to 10000francs. Source: Labour Code, Article 292, p.34.

Are sanctions often being applied?

Sanctions are rarely applied.

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

There is no specific law for this.

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

Individual litigation of the work between the worker and his employer is set by the Inspector of labour and social laws. But, if the attempt of conciliation fails before the labour inspector, the dispute may be submitted to the competent Labour Court. (Labour Code, article 186).

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