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Posted on June 20th, 2012, by

The minimum wage can be defined as the compensation  limit, below which employer can’t pay the employee for normal work. It is an obligation of the employer to provide workers at least a certain level of payment, which could guarantee normal living conditions. It deals with social justice according to the labor law, which requires balance of interests. At first glance it may seem that the social guarantee protects only the interests of employees and does not consider the interests of employers.  But taking into account interests of both workers and employers, there must be obligation of employers to pay workers at least the minimum wage.

According to international legislation acts, the minimum wage should be set, on the one hand, taking into account the interests of workers and their families, and on the other, according to the economic development of the country. It is the socio-economic situation of the country influences the minimum level of basic needs of employees.

So, the minimum wage is one of the main types of social guarantees. That is why many countries try to set the minimum wage, which can guarantee decent living conditions to the citizens.  But unfortunately, in more than half of the countries the minimum wage does not cover real needs of people.

According to the International Labor Organization, today more than 90% of all countries have regulations on the minimum wage. (www.ilo.org) In international practice, the main instrument is the Convention of the International Labor Organization # 131 On the Minimum Wage Fixing, with Special Reference to Developing Countries (1970). (www.ilo.org)

The mechanism of the establishment and management of this social standard is different in different countries. Also there many argument about the effectiveness of minimum wages, as some critics point many negative effects it leads to. But in any case the minimum wage is an important social norm, which is of great social significance, and is associated with the concepts of social protection and social justice. (Euraud & Saget, 2005)

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