Minimum wages and wage protection in the Arab States: Ensuring a just system for national and migrant workers

This note for policymakers explores how States in the region – particularly those with a high percentage of migrant workers – can initiate a systematic, evidence-based process for setting and adjusting minimum wages, drawing on ILO standards and international good practice, whilst also improving and strengthening systems of wage protection.

Ensuring decent wages for workers, and implementation mechanisms to eliminate delayed and non-payment of wages is a key priority for countries globally, including through the setting of a minimum wage. However, the coverage of minimum wages in the Arab States is low, and often excludes large numbers of workers. Increasingly, and particularly in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries, governments in the Arab States are looking to develop or extend their minimum wages, and are also exploring mechanisms to ensure that workers are paid correctly and on time.