Salary - Term Overview


The salary, remuneration, salary or stipend is the amount of money that a worker receives regularly, in exchange for a stipulated time of work (in the performance of tasks or the manufacture of specific goods), according to what is explicitly agreed in a contract voluntary work, whether formal or informal. In less words, it's the economic remuneration that a person receives in exchange for his labor power.

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

However, in the latter there are other factors that must be taken into consideration when calculating the amount of the salary, such as the level of professionalism necessary to carry out the work, the hours in which it must be carried out or the conditions of hygiene or risk to which workers can be exposed.

Equal pay

There are numerous legal agreements that regulate the way in which wages must be paid, to guarantee workers the right to a decent wage : one that is consistent with the effort made, that is equitable among those who perform the same work without distinction of race, sex or other characteristics, and that allows them to live honorably. This is contemplated in the declaration of Universal Human Rights.

Origin of salary

The term "salary" explains much of its origin, since it comes from the Latin word salarium, that is, "payment of salt. " In those times, salt was a rare and precious commodity, since 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 the salt from the coastal city of Ostia Antica would enter Rome. The legionaries who guarded this road were rewarded for their services with salt, thus giving rise to the expression, as well as expressions such as "not worth your weight in salt."

Salary types

Commonly we speak of forms of salary, according to the logic or the rule that is used for their calculation. For example:

- Nominal salary: It's 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 tasks of the job, grouped by day, week, fortnight or month.
- Mixed salary: A form of intermediate salary between the work unit and the time unit.

However, a distinction can also be made between two forms of salary, depending on how the payment is made:

- Salary in cash: The one that is paid using the legal currency of the current country, that is, in hard cash.
- Salary in kind: One that is paid for through other types of non-metallic goods, such as products, tokens, bonds, food, etc.

Minimum salary

The minimum salary or minimum wage is the minimum amount of money established by the law of a given country that must be paid to a worker, in exchange for a period of work contemplated in hours, days or the month. A minimum salary is expected to be the minimum amount of money required for a head of the family to satisfy their food (food basket), vital and educational needs during said period of time.

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

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