Chapter 3: Who should set minimum wages

3.4 Independent experts and statistical offices

Independent experts

Convention No. 131 also calls – wherever it is appropriate to the nature of the machinery – for the direct participation in the minimum wage fixing of persons having recognised competence for representing the general interests of the country and appointed after full consultation with representative organisations of employers and workers concerned, where such organisations exist and such consultation is in accordance with national law or practice.

Statistical offices

In addition to social partners, independent experts with technical expertise and national statistical offices play a key role too. Because minimum wage-setting should be evidence-based and effects should be carefully monitored, social partners and policy-makers should have timely access to relevant data and analysis from a country’s national statistical office.

Sufficient resources should be devoted to the collection of statistics or other relevant data. Recommendation No. 135 considers that “to the extent possible in national circumstances, sufficient resources should be devoted to the collection of statistics and other data needed for analytical studies of the relevant economic factors, particularly those related to the criteria for minimum wage determination”.

The objective of statistical indicators is not, of course, to substitute for social dialogue or bargaining, but rather to allow well-informed social dialogue.