What is salary?

We explain what the salary or salary is, and what is its origin. Equal salary, types of salary and what is the minimum wage.

  1. What is salary?

The salary, remuneration, salary or stipend is the amount of money a worker regularly receives , in exchange for a stipulated working time (in the performance of tasks or the manufacture of specific goods), as explicitly agreed in a contract voluntary work , whether formal or informal. In less words, it is the economic remuneration that a person receives in exchange for their workforce .

The payment of the salary can take place monthly, biweekly, weekly or even daily (in this case it happens to be called wage ), depending on the labor arrangement that orders the work dynamics. Similarly, the amount of payment is usually determined by an hourly value of labor, that is, by how much money an hour of labor or a particular service costs.

However, in the latter there are other factors that must be taken into account when calculating the amount of the salary, such as the level of professionalization necessary to carry out the work, the time in which it should be carried out or the conditions of hygiene or risk to which the worker may be exposed.

  1. Equal pay

The salary must be according to the effort made. 

There are numerous legal agreements that regulate the way in which wages must be paid, to guarantee workers the right to a living wage : one that is consistent with the effort made, that is equitable among those who perform the same work regardless of race, sex or other characteristics, and that allows them to live honorably. This is contemplated in the declaration of Universal Human Rights .

  1. Origin of the salary

The term “salary” explains much of its origin, since it comes from the Latin word salarium , that is, “salt payment . ” In those times, salt was a scarce and precious asset, as it served as an antiseptic and to preserve food; so much so, that it was worth its weight in gold. Then, around 500 BC, the emperor ordered the construction of a saltpeter route called “Via salaria”, through which salt coming from the coastal city of Ostia Antica would enter Rome . The legionaries who guarded this path were paid their services with salt, thus giving rise to the expression, as well as expressions such as “not worth its weight in salt.”

  1. Types of salary

Commonly it is spoken of forms of salary, according to the logic or the norm that is used for its calculation. For example:

  • Payroll l. It is the type of salary that integrates the “payrolls” or lists of workers , to whom a position and a fixed series of responsibilities are assigned, and based on said organizational step, also, a payment amount.
  • Salary per unit of work . This form of salary is received only when the work or service has been completed and / or rendered. That is, pay at the end of the job.
  • Salary per unit of time . This form of salary, on the other hand, pays for each hour of time spent in the work of the work, grouped by day, week, fortnight or month.
  • Mixed salary . A form of intermediate salary between the unit of work and the unit of time.

However, you can also distinguish between two forms of salary, depending on how the payment is made:

  • Cash salary . The one that is paid by means of the legal currency of the current country, that is, in counting and sounding money.
  • Salary in species . The one that is paid by other types of non-metallic goods, such as products, tokens, bonuses , food , etc.
  1. Minimum salary

minimum salary
The minimum wage is susceptible to inflationary variations and the value of the local currency.

The minimum wage or minimum wage is the minimum amount of money established by law in a given country that must be paid to a worker, in exchange for a period of work contemplated in hours, days or month. It is hoped that a minimum wage is the minimum amount of money required for a head of household to meet his food (food basket), vital and educational needs during that period of time.

The minimum wage is calculated based on conditions that vary according to the legislation of the country, and is susceptible to inflationary variations and the value of the local currency , so it is often used to measure the quality of local life .

A minimum wage was established for the first time in the 19th century, in the Australian state of Victoria, as a result of a series of uprisings and labor strikes demanding better economic conditions of employment. Together with the reduction (and control) of the 8-hour workday, the minimum wage is part of the main achievements in the claim and defense of the working class in the world.

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