Malaysia launched its first-ever National Wage Index (NWI) on Tuesday (Feb 19) to measure changes in workers’ salaries – and it could end up being used by employers as a guide of how much to pay staff, Bernama reported.
The index is one of 11 labour market consolidation initiatives to increase the country’s productivity level and create more jobs, Bernama quoted Human Resources Minister M. Kulasegaran as saying.
The NWI was developed based on quarterly surveys of 3,000 private sector firms by the Institute of Labour Market Information and Analysis about salaries and salary adjustments between Sep 2016 and Jun 2018, Malay Mail reported.
It will be published on a quarterly basis.
The report added that the index covers the 169 types of jobs that make up 80 per cent of the main occupations in Malaysia.
According to Bernama, the NWI showed Malaysia’s basic wage had grown by 8.2 per cent over two years.
Malay Mail quoted minister Kulasegaran as saying that the index could be used by employers to decide on human resource policies and “the structure and level of wages for certain jobs”.
He added that conversely, it could also be used by workers’ associations to increase their bargaining power.
The government itself might apply the index during policy considerations, such as revising the minimum wage or looking at national salary adjustments, Bernama quoted Kulasegaran as saying.
He added that the ministry also planned to increase the participation of women, the disabled and retirees in the workforce.