Mr Bright Wireko Brobbey, a Deputy Minister designate for Employment and Labour Relations, answering questions during his vetting. Picture: GABRIEL AHIABOR
A Deputy Minister designate for Employment and Labour Relations, Mr Bright Wireko Brobbey, has stated that the Ministry, through the National Pensions Regulatory Authority (NPRA), will embark on an aggressive awareness and education campaign to get a lot more people, particularly those in the informal sector, enrolled onto the pension scheme.
He said one challenge that the ministry was confronted with was getting workers in the informal sector into the pension scheme.
Answering questions on pension reforms when he appeared before Parliament’s Appointment Committee, Mr Brobbey, urged workers in the country to take full advantage of the National Pensions Act, 2008 (Act 766) as the law provided comprehensive pension reforms that could better the lives of Ghanaian workers.
“It is the Act that introduces the three-tier pension system. Tier one is the basic, tier two is also mandatory and the third tier offers opportunity for every worker to take steps to ensure income security.
On what the ministry was doing to prevent workers from embarking on strike action, he said industrial actions were inevitable.
“Once we have such an environment where there is employer-employee relationship, you may once a while experience strikes.
“We don’t see them as something too bad because anytime they happen, we delve deeper and try to understand the issues and ensure that we resolve it once and for all,” he noted.
The deputy minister designate, however, said the labour front in the country had experienced some relative stability in recent times.
Commenting on the new minimum wage, which was announced recently, he said the determination of the minimum wage was underpinned by law and was done by the tripartite committee.
“Section 112 of the Labour Law established the tripartite and makes the minister of employment the Chair. The tripartite is made of government on one hand, labour on another hand and employers on the other hand.
“In the wisdom of the framers of the law, they asked that these groups come together and look at so many factors before determining the minimum wage,” he stated.
He said the new minimum wage was,therefore, determined based on a number of factors, key among them being the COVID-19 pandemic.
“This year, in particular, the minimum wage was done for two consecutive years, 2021 and 2022 and the obvious reason is that last year, we could not do it because of COVID. A lot of factors were taken into consideration and in the communique that we released and signed by the committee, one was COVID-19.