By Wala Gamal
The Board of Directors of the Federation of Egyptian Industries (FEI) held a meeting on Monday to discuss the implementation of minimum income within the private sector, set to take effect at the beginning of next year.
A number of meetings have been held in recent months between the Egyptian Trade Union Federation, various investor organisations, the federations of Egyptian Industry, Commerce and Tourism, and ministries of Industry and Foreign Trade, Finance and Planning, to discuss the law’s implementation. The government recently decided to set the minimum income rate at EGP 1,200 per month.
Mohamed Al-Bahi, member of the FEI’s board of directors, said the FEI does not oppose the implementation of a minimum wage for private sector employees, saying that average employee production rates were three times that of the proposed minimum income.
He stated that the FEI was studying the effects that the implementation of the law would have on small industry, in addition to the country’s unofficial services, labour and tourist sectors, which employ roughly 9 million citizens.
The implementation of the country’s private sector minimum income law would not be connected to decreases in social insurance rates, Al-Bahi said. The FEI had previously requested that insurance rates be decreased, currently at nearly 40% of wages, saying that insurance on wages served as a way to help insure workers retiring on pensions.
Application of the EGP 1,200 per month minimum income law would also force companies operating in the industry and services sector to adhere to paying EGP 500 per month in insurance.
Al-Bahi doubted the government’s ability to implement such a law within the public sector, as the cost of doing so currently exceeds EGP 67bn. Implementing such laws would further require that the country’s wage structure is amended, a process which would place increased burdens on the state.
Mohamed Al-Shabrawi, another member of the FEI’s board of directors, meanwhile emphasised the need to further discuss the law’s implementation, and the need for it take place in coordination with decreases in worker social insurance rates.
Translated from Al Borsa newspaper