Get the manual

Respect the workers’ right to earn a living wage and ensure that wages paid for a normal work week meet at least legal or industry minimum standards—whichever is greater. The wage should always be sufficient to meet the basic needs of workers and their families. Keep understandable payroll records for at least two years. Do not accept deductions as a disciplinary measure. Pay wages regularly, on time and in a way that is convenient for the workers.

Wages above the minimum requirement attract the best and most stable labour force. Factories that pay and focus on living wages often have a higher productivity and lower amount of overtime. To maintain a healthy workforce NICE encourages the provision of at least one free daily meal at work. Payroll records help you document an accurate and complete amount of working hours.

At no time is it acceptable for any worker to earn less than USD 2.3 (before legal taxes and deductions) per standard working day of 8 hours, which is equal to a monthly income for 24 days’ work or no less than USD 56. This reflects the World Bank’s definition of “moderate poverty”, which is defined as living on less than USD 2 per day.

The monthly payroll records should contain:

  • Number of regular hours worked that month
  • Amount of overtime hours worked that month
  • Sick leave or other absence that month
  • Bonuses for that month
  • Deductions—why and how much they are
  • Worker’s contracted allowance agreement
  • Basic salary for that month
  • Overtime payment for that month
  • Wage for that month
  • Payment day
  • Worker’s signature



  • Prior to employment provide all workers with written and easily understood information about wage conditions
  • Pay wages that are sufficient to meet the basic needs of workers and their families
  • Pay all wages regularly, on time and in a way convenient for the workers
  • Only deduct wages according to national laws
  • Deductions must never constitute an amount that will result in the worker receiving less than minimum wage
  • Provide workers with a pay slip when they receive their salary showing regular and overtime hours as well as regular and overtime rates
  • Inform workers how calculations are made if you use a piece-rate system. If the piece-rate wage does not meet legal minimum wage, then pay the difference so it does


More topics

Human rights
Freedom of association
Forced labour
Child labour
Working hours
Labour contracts
Sick leave
Grievance system
Occupational health and safety
Corruption and bribery
Monitoring and evaluation