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Global Work Glossary

Lost in a maze of global employment jargon? Find your way out with our handy collection of work and HR terminology

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# A B C D E F G H I J L M N O P R S T U V W X Y Z


What are Wages?

Wages refer to the compensation or earnings, usually financial, that an employee receives from an employer in exchange for their labour. Wages are typically paid at an hourly, daily, or piece rate basis, but can also be expressed as a monthly or annual sum. The structure and amount of wages depend on the agreement between the employer and the employee, as well as on local labour laws and industry standards.

Types of Wages

There are several types of wages, including hourly wages, salary, commission, and overtime pay. Hourly wages are paid based on the number of hours worked, while salaries are a fixed amount regardless of hours worked. The commission is generally earned based on the employee’s performance, typically in sales roles. Overtime pay is additional compensation for time worked beyond the normal working hours as defined by law or contract.

Determining Factors

Several factors influence the determination of wages, including the nature of the job, the skill level required, the industry standard, and the geographical location. Economic conditions, the supply and demand for labour, and union agreements also play crucial roles in wage determination. Employers must also consider legal requirements such as minimum wage laws and overtime regulations.

Wage Management Considerations

Effective wage management involves ensuring fairness and compliance with labour laws, competitive benchmarking within industry standards, and aligning wage structures with organizational goals and employee performance. Transparent communication about wage determination processes and criteria can help maintain trust and morale within the workforce.

Wages are not only a reflection of the value and cost of labour but also a critical element in financial management for both employers and employees. Understanding and effectively managing wages is essential for maintaining a motivated and productive workforce while ensuring the financial stability of the organization.

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