Improved wage and income policies, and mechanisms for consultation and collective bargaining in Moldova

Activities under the ILO project will contribute to enhancing the capacity of social partners on minimum wages and wage setting in general, including through improved collective bargaining, through information dissemination and technical advisory services on gender wage gaps and work-family reconciliation, and the sharing of international practice on the remuneration of persons with disabilities.


Moldova has established a legal and institutional framework to promote adequate income and productive work. However, wage gaps persist with women’s income accounting for only 87 per cent of men’s earning. Although wage income has increased some 14 per cent a year over the last decade, wages are still too low to ensure that citizens earn a decent living, as average wages are just 2.2 times higher than the subsistence minimum for the working-age population. The national minimum wage in 2015 was MDL 1,000 (approximately USD 55), i.e. just 60 per cent of the subsistence minimum, while the minimum wage in the private sector amounts to MDL 1,900 (approximately USD 100). Although working poverty has decreased, it still remains rather high at some 15 per cent in 2014.

The weakness, or absence, of Employers’ Organizations in some sectors, and of trade unions in private enterprises does not allow for the development of collective bargaining and the conclusion of collective agreements in all sectors. According to the data provided by the National Confederation of Trade Unions of Moldova (CNSM), 46 per cent of the total number of employees are members of trade unions. This indicator has fallen by 11 per cent since 2007. Women have higher participation rates in the union movement than men, although membership is declining for both. The CNSM found that collective bargaining coverage for all groups of workers is also declining.

Provisions have been made in national legislation and practice to better reconcile work and family responsibilities. However, over the last decade there has been an increase in the share of women out of work due to family responsibilities (10.9 per cent in 2012), while the share of men has remained fairly stable (0.4 per cent in 2012). Further work on leave policies in combination with innovative working time arrangements is necessary, especially as Moldova considers to ratify the Workers with Family Responsibilities Convention, 1981 (No. 156).

Main objectives

A profound analysis of the legal instruments on wages and statistical study of the available wage data will be conducted. On that basis, the ILO project will enhance social partners’ capacity on wage setting in general, and on minimum wages. Activities will focus on improved collective bargaining mechanisms and negotiating skills, and a methodology to help the social partners to elaborate sound wage bargaining at the sectorial level

Building on earlier action, the ILO will assist the constituents to effectively transpose ILO Conventions and EU Directives on Work and Family and Equal Remuneration. (The ILO has provided technical assistance in the area of equal remuneration for work of equal value and women empowerment jointly with UN Women since 2011.).