What is Purnaa’s Living Wage?

Updated: Mar 4, 2020

by Sonja Kraft

Fair Trade Manufacturing standards
A living wage is the #1 way to prevent poverty

Here at Purnaa, we believe paying a living wage is of the utmost importance. Providing meaningful employment and sufficient salary has the power to change lives among Nepal's poor. We see it as a responsibility to our employees to provide a salary that is able to meet all of their monthly needs as well as create fiscal independence for them and their families. Every year we review information from our employees and other organizations to determine if wages are still sufficient. Here is a breakdown of what goes into determining our living wage.

At Purnaa, the minimum total compensation for our staff is $198 a month, with a take-home pay of $126. The Nepali minimum wage is $160 and according to our research, the local living wage is $175, both of these figures are for total compensation, not take home pay. It is incredibly important to Purnaa that our staff are paid at or above the living wage to ensure the health, safety and comfort of them and their families.

In September of 2017, Purnaa introduced a new bonus system to incentivize staff. Based on daily targets, for every hour ahead of schedule a team becomes, Purnaa pays them 1.2 times their hourly rate for the time saved. The average bonus a sewer can expect to earn per month is $42.50, the highest bonus currently received by a team was $147.50 per person in a month. While it's important to create manufacturing efficiencies, the main purpose of this system is to create ways for our staff to feel they have a say in their take-home pay, and by default, the future of their families.

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As well as a basic salary and production bonus’, Purnaa is pleased to be able to provide the following benefits:

  1. Pension

  2. Dashian Bonus – Dashian is an annual festival in Nepal, all employees receive a month’s bonus for this holiday.

  3. Medical Allowance and Insurance – Employees receive medical insurance through a third party provider for larger medical needs and also a $50 medical allowance per year and $50 per child that they have guardianship over from Purnaa for smaller fees and co-pays.

  4. Lunch/Tea – Purnaa provides lunch, tea breaks, and a snack everyday.

  5. Yearly bonus – 10% of Purnaa’s annual net profit is shared amongst employees.

We base our salaries on the approximate living wage for a single parent with one child, though some of our employees have spouses and family members who contribute income to their families.

Some of our employees come to Purnaa with pre-existing debt and we recognize the need for some to grow in budgeting and responsible financial management. To assist in this area we continue to run trainings during work hours on how to develop these skills.

Purnaa strives to ensure a living wage for everyone through research and surveys. When you buy products from or manufacture at Purnaa you join us in saying that fair pay and living wage is a must for producers. Thank you for your commitment to bringing positive change in the garment industry and paying workers fairly.

For updated statistics on Nepal's Living wage click here