The minimum wage

With over 90% of countries having some form of legislation regarding minimum wage, it is something we all now expect, as it allows us to afford the basics in order to live relatively comfortably.

Is having a minimum wage something we should all be entitled to or is it something we should be grateful for? Should there be a national or regional minimum wage?

Theses are questions that have been asked and answered and will continue to be asked as our standard of living continues to increase, which increases our expectations on what we consider to be a need rather than a want.

Today, using some form of transportation to get to work is a basic requirement. We have buses and trains that can take us to our destinations. A couple of centuries ago, walking was the most common method to get to your destination and any form of transportation was used by those who could afford it, i.e. those who were ‘well off’.

What is a minimum wage
A minimum wage is the lowest pay permitted by law or an agreement payable for the performance of a job usually on an hourly basis.

Why have a minimum wage
There are some who believe having a minimum wage is detrimental to business, as it increases the cost of doing business and reduces profit margin.

On the other hand, there are those who believe we should all have a minimum pay level that reduces the level of poverty in society, makes businesses operate more efficiently and increases the standard of living for all.
It is safe to say that roles that pay minimum wage are those that do not require a high level of skill to perform the job, such as waiting tables, being a cashier at a supermarket or working in a retail store on the shop floor. These are the type of roles people can be trained on over a few days, some even hours, making it much easier for employers to constantly have an attitude of do as I say or I’ll fire you.

Calculating minimum wage
There are many factors that go into calculating what the minimum wage should be, such as inflation rates, gross domestic product, number of jobs available, unemployment rate, number of skilled workers needed and location

The amount earned should cover the 3 basic needs of food, shelter and clothing. It is not going to be enough for buying non essential purchases like holidays, gym memberships, pills for reducing body fat, have a look at fat burner pills reviews or even meals out at a nice restaurant.

Location is factored into minimum wage because there are just some places that are more expensive to live than others. Take London, Sydney and New York as examples. The cost of living in these cities is higher than if you lived in Lincoln, Wagga Wagga and Dallas. Thus, the minimum wage is adjusted to factor this into the calculation.

Consequence of not paying minimum wage
For those employers who do not pay the minimum wage, they face heavy penalties. There are financial penalties and in certain cases bosses can be sentenced to jail for not adhering to legislation.


Health and Safety at work

A healthy work environment is one that is empowering, safe, fulfilling and pleasurable to go to. Opposite to this is an environment no one wants to go to because it is unsafe, mentally and physically draining on the mind and body and depressing.

This is why retailers and those in other industries need to ensure they provide a working environment that is safe and healthy for all employees and customers.

Responsibility of a safe working environment does not rest solely with the employer, but all employees.

If you walk into a store and one of the displays has fallen down, do you wait for the store manager to pick it up or do you as an employee of the store, pick it up and either put it back where it should be or take it off the shop floor if it’s unsafe to put it back.

The answer is you as an employee would pick it up, provided it is not too heavy, access whether to put it back or take if off the shop floor.

A knowledge of health and safety is important and there are regular health and safety course all employees have to do which require questions to be answered and a certain pass rate achieved. These courses are to be completed by all members of an organization from the CEO to the shop floor worker to those working in the docks as everyone has a responsibility for the environment they work in

These courses although irritating to do, as it is always required to be completed at a busy time of the year, is essential and helps empower workers to make appropriate health and safety decisions when needed.

Thankfully, due to legislation, there is a requirement for there to be a health and safety officer at each business location. They are there to ensure rules are being followed and to answer any questions that may arise. They are however not solely responsible for making sure the work environment is a danger free zone.

This responsibility also extends to other areas of the workplace. If the hot water coming out of the taps is too hot, if the protein supplements such as that reviewed at topwheyproteinisoate that is offered at work for those who like to workout during lunch time, are out of date, if the milk in the fridge is off, it is the responsibility of whoever discovers this to inform the relevant person so a plumber can be called. Before, hand though, put a note on the tap warning people it’s the water is too hot. The milk and protein supplement should be disposed of and new ones ordered.

On the whole, we all want to work in a pleasant environment and together this can be achieved.

The penalties for organisations that do not comply to health and safety regulations consist of fines, closure and in certain cases, jail time for employees depending on the severity of the offence.

This shows that health and safety should be taken seriously in the work place by all.