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Friday, February 24, 2017

EU - The growth in minimum wage this year has accelerated as compared with last year - In contrast, the minimum wage did not change in Greece, where it was first cut and then remained unchanged since 2012.. - eurofound

Publication -  Statutory minimum wages in the EU 2017


In 22 out of 28 EU Member States, a generally applicable statutory minimum wage exists; the level of this minimum wage varies greatly from one country to another. This article provides information on statutory minimum wage levels, how the minimum wage has been determined for 2017 and minimum wage coverage across the EU. The data show that the minimum wage grew more over the year preceding 1 January 2017 than the year before.

In January 2017, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker stated that there should be a minimum wage in every EU Member State. The European Commission is preparing a reform of the EU’s functions, which it will present in advance of celebrations for the 60th anniversary of the Treaty of Rome, at a summit in Rome on 25 March 2017. It is understood that these proposals may closely relate to the level and setting of statutory minimum wages

Member States with a statutory minimum wage

The term ‘minimum wages’ refers to various legal restrictions of the lowest rate payable by employers to workers. Statutory minimum wages are regulated by formal laws or statutes. This article investigates the statutory minimum wages generally applicable in a given country and not limited to specific sectors, occupations or groups of employees.

In January 2017, some 22 out of 28 EU countries apply a generally binding statutory minimum wage – Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Estonia, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain and the UK. Those with no general statutory minimum wage are Austria, Cyprus, Denmark, Finland, Italy, Sweden. In the majority of EU Member States where there is no statutory minimum wage (Austria, Denmark, Finland, Italy and Sweden), the minimum wage level is de facto set in (sectoral) collective agreements. It is important to note that the coverage of these agreements varies between countries and as some employees are not covered, they may not have any minimum wage.

Level of statutory minimum wage

The level of statutory minimum wages greatly varies between EU countries. As of 1 January 2017 (unless indicated otherwise), the lowest minimum wages (usually less than €500 per month) are found in the new Member States (NMS). Of these, Bulgaria applies the lowest monthly minimum wage in the EU – BGN 460 (€235). Immediately following is Romania, which from 1 February 2017 will apply a monthly minimum of RON 1,450 (€322). Two of the NMS – Malta and Slovenia – form a middle group, together with Portugal, Greece and Spain, in which the minimum wage ranges between €500 and €1,000 per month. Of the EU15, Portugal has the lowest monthly statutory minimum wage. Notably, in Greece (only the private sector ), Portugal and Spain, employees are entitled to 14 monthly wage payments per year; in many other Member States they receive 12 monthly minimum wages. A majority of the EU15 have the highest minimum wages, exceeding €1,000 per month: the highest – in Luxembourg (€1,999 per month) – is 8.5 times the Bulgarian minimum.



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