Malawi - 3.3 Malawi Manual Labour

The GoM has minimum rates for casual workers and semi-skilled workers which are available from the Ministry of Labour. The government of Malawi estimates that more than half of the population is of working age, unskilled labour is plentiful and skilled and semi-skilled labour is reeportedly scarce. The Labour Relations Act (LRA), enacted in 1997, governs labour-relations management in Malawi. The Act allows strikes and lockouts for registered workers and employers after dispute settlement procedures in collective agreements and conciliation have failed.

Twenty-nine unions were registered when workers gained the legal right to form and join trade unions and as of December 2008. Union membership is low, however, given the small percentage of the work force in the formal sector (about 12%), the lack of awareness of worker rights and benefits, and a resistance on the part of many employees to join unions. Only 13% of people employed in the formal sector belong to unions. Unions may form or join federations, and have the right to affiliate with and participate in the affairs of international workers' organizations. While the Government of Malawi is a signatory to the International Labour Organisation (ILO) Convention protecting worker rights, mechanisms for enforcing the provisions of the convention are reportedly weak. 

Type of labour

Local Currency



Daily general worker (unskilled casual worker) - (2nd year apprentice)

MWK 5,500


Jun 2010

Daily general worker (semi-skilled) - (3rd year apprentice)

MWK 6,500


Jun 2010

Daily general worker - (4th year apprentice) MWK 7,500  US$46.90 Jun 2010

Skilled labour

MWK 7,500 


Jun 2010


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