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Minimum Wage in Colombia – Frequently asked Questions

Is there separate minimum wage legislation in Colombia?

There is no separate legislation. However, there is provision on MW under Article 53 of the Constitution of Republic of Colombia for equal opportunities for minimum wages and the relevant is in Colombia’s Substantive Labour Code of 1950 (amended 2006). The main regulations concerning MW are articles 145 to 148 of the Labour Code.

Do one or more minimum wage/s, exists in Colombia?

There is only one legal minimum wage in Colombia. (Refer to decree no 2731 of 2014).

At what level are minimum wages determined?

There is only one legal minimum wage in Colombia. (Refer to decree no 2731 of 2014).

On what basis is/are minimum wage/s declared?

The Latest Decree 2731 (December 30 2014) declares a monthly legal minimum wage rate.

In case of daily/weekly/monthly minimum wage, are number of working hours considered while fixing minimum wage?

As per article 161 of the Labour Code, the maximum duration of a normal working day is 8 hrs a day or 48 hrs a week. As per Article 147 of Labour Code, workers who work for less than normal working hrs, minimum wage will apply in proportion to number of hrs actually worked.

Who all are involved in setting minimum wages?

According to article 2 of Act 278 of 1996, the Standing Committee on Labour and Labour Wage Policy will have to establish in concerted manner the general minimum wage, taking into account factors that should ensure a decent quality of life for workers and their families. As per article 5 of Act 278 of 1996, the Standing Committee on Labour and Wage policy is a tripartite committee. 1. The Minister of Labour and Social Security.2. The Minister of Finance 3 Economic Development Minister 4. The Minister of Agriculture 5. The Director of the National Planning Department. Association Banking and Financial Institutions of Colombia (ASOBANCARIA), National Business Association of Colombia (ANDI), National Retail Federation (FENALCO), Association Colombian Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (ACOPI) and Agricultural Society of Colombia (SAC) (refer to Decree no 4834 of 2010). Central Confederation of Workers (CUT), Confederation of Workers Colombia (CTC), General Labour Confederation (GTC), (refer to Decree no 4834 of 2010). According to article 5 of Act 278 of 1996, also calls for One (1) representative of the pensioners, and
One (1) representative for the unemployed.

How are upratings (adjustments) of minimum wages decided upon?

AS per article 147 (2) of the Labour Code and Article 8 of Act 278 of 1996 the permanent commission, i.e. Standing Committee on Labour and Labour Wage Policy (tripartite committee), should fix minimum wage every year, before or on 30th Dec. If the committee does not reach a consensus till that time, then Government can announce the minimum wage unilaterally. Which are the components of minimum wages in Colombia? -- Referring to the latest legal minimum wage announced by the Government of Colombia, through Decree no2731 of 2014), minimum wage rate is a single fixed component.

How frequently is the fixed component of minimum wage updated?

As per Article 8 of Act 278 of 1996, the minimum wage is updated once a year, on or before December 30 each year. As per article 147 (2) of Labour Code also says the same.

What are the yardsticks on which minimum wage revisions are based?

As per 8 of Act 278 of 1996, in setting the minimum wage the considered parameters are (1) inflation target for next year fixed by Board of Bank of Republic, (2) products agreed by tripartite committee that coordinates productivity of Ministry of Labour & Social Security, (3) the contribution of wages to national income, (4) the increase in gross domestic product (GDP) and (5) consumer price index. As per article 146 (1) of Labour Code, minimum wage should take into account cost of living, work patterns, economic capacity of businesses and employers, and conditions of each region and activity. As per article 146 (2) of Labour Code, minimum wage for farm workers should take into account facilities the employer provides its employees in regard to room, crops, fuel and similar circumstances that reduce the cost of living.

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 wage (s) in the national labour force (wage earners only)?

Below 15 per cent of the working force. Source: Gran Encuesta Integrada de Hogares (GEIH).

Who all regulate minimum wage compliance?

As per article 485 of Labour Code, monitoring and enforcement of the rules and provisions of this Code is exercised by Ministry of Labour. As per Article 29 of Decree 205 of 2003, The Special Unit for Labour Inspection, Vigilance and Control ensures compliance with labour legislation.

Which legal sanctions can be applied if compliance is lacking?

As per Article 41 of Decree 2351 of 1965, failure to comply with labour legislation results in fines of between one and one hundred times the current minimum wage rate.

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

As per Article 29 of Decree 205 of 2003, The Special Unit for Labour Inspection, Vigilance and Control ensures compliance with labour legislation.

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

As per Article 30 of Decree 205 of 2003, the Directorate General of Inspection, Supervision and Control of Labour has to address the issues related to social protection, work and employment. The contact details of the Directorate of each territory is available at (Source: http://www.minproteccionsocial.gov.co/entidadesTerritoriales/Lists/Directorio%20de%20Directores%20y%20Coordinadores/AllItems.aspx?View={EC093082-3A3D-4065-8E54-12553935B110) Civil Court - As per article 11 of Decree 2351 of 1965, Claims of workers for wages belong to first class set out on Article 2495 of Civil Code and Workers' claims can be proved by any mode of proof authorized by law and, where necessary, intervention produced extrajudicial with labour judge or competent labour inspector.

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