Wages and Benefits

Document | 01 September 2010

Wages are a key aspect of the quality of work and a major component of household income. The 2008 ILO Declaration on Social Justice for a Fair Globalization therefore calls for policies in regards to wages and earnings, hours and other conditions of work, designed to ensure a just share of the fruits of progress to all and a minimum living wage to all employed and in need of such protection”.

The ILO MNE Declaration invites MNEs operating in developing countries to provide the best possible wages, benefits and conditions of work, within the framework of government policies. They should be related to the economic position of the enterprise but should be at least adequate to satisfy basic needs of the workers and their families within the working hours set by national law. In addition the MNE Declaration stresses the valuable role of collective bargaining in determining conditions of employment. Where companies provide workers with basic amenities such as housing, medical care or food as part of their compensation, these should be of a good standard.

ILO standards on wages are instruments that address issues related to wages by providing for regular payment of wages, the fixing of minimum wage levels, promotion of equal pay for work of equal value, and the settlement of unpaid wages in case of employer insolvency.

Q&As on Business and wages

  • Wage-setting process
  • Basic safeguards of wages
  • Living wage/minimum wage
  • Payment in-kind only
  • Disciplinary deductions from wages
  • Compensation for night work