ZAGREB, November 30, 2018 – At the government session on Friday, Prime Minister Andrej Plenković announced an increase in the net minimum wage from 2,752 kuna to 3,000 kuna, an increase of 248 kuna or 9% compared to 2018, underscoring that this is the largest one-off increase in the minimum wage since 2008.
“We will endorse a decision that will increase the minimum wage which currently amounts to 2,752 kuna net, to 3,000 kuna net. This is an increase of 248 kuna or nine percent compared to 2018. The gross amount that today totals 3,440 kuna will be 3,750 kuna, an increase of 310 kuna,” Plenković said.
This is the highest one-off increase of the minimum wage since 2008, the prime minister underscored.
Expressed in the euro, following the increase the minimum wage will amount to 404 euro net or 505 gross.
Compared to other countries in central and eastern Europe, Plenković noted that according to Eurostat figures from July, Croatia’s minimum gross wage amounted to 464 euro and was even then higher than in Bulgaria (261 euro), Lithuania (400 euro), Romania (407 euro), Latvia (430 euro) and Hungary (445 euro).
After this increase, the minimum wage in Croatia will as of the New Year be higher than in the Czech Republic (469 euro), Slovakia and Poland (480 euro) and Estonia (500 euro).
Plenković noted that according to the Labour and Pension System Ministry’s data, about 37,000 people are currently earning a minimum wage.
He recalled that in the first two years of this government’s term, the minimum wage was increased twice by five percent, which cumulatively amounts to 10.25%, with an additional 3.3% increase after excluding overtime, Sunday and public holiday hours.
“Prior to that, it was increased during our term by 13.6% compared to 2016. That was the biggest increase until now and with this increase that will mean a total net increase of the net minimum wage during our term of 504 kuna and that is 23.9%,” the prime minister underscored.
He noted that the share of the gross minimum wage in the average wage will increase significantly in 2019 to 44.85%.
Plenković underscored that this measure takes employers into account. Certain compensatory measures are foreseen because the government doesn’t want the challenge of increasing labour costs to lead to negative consequences for workers or their employers.
“The minimum wage is usually paid in the textile, timber, leather and metal industries and as such in 2019 we will retain the reduced base wage to calculate contributions by 50% for those workers who were paid a minimum wage in 2018, and in 2020, those reliefs will be reduced by one half,” he underscored.
In addition to fiscal breaks, the government has prepared a set of measures to preserve jobs and that means that next year we will enable the use of up to 1.5 million kuna in support and in 2020 that support will be even greater in an effort to save jobs and open new ones.
Plenković recalled that the 2.8% increase in Gross Domestic Product (GDP) meant that it had grown for the 17th consecutive quarter and that the growth was based on sound foundations, on growing exports and investments.
“We think that the GDP growth, which has continued for 17 quarters in a row is a good signal. Figures that relate to the export of goods and services are also good – with exports increasing by 5.2% and services by 2.5% while investments have grown for the 15th consecutive quarter,” he said.
With regard to industrial production falling after a long period, Plenković said that the government has been thinking about consolidating production and exports.
For more on the minimum wage in Croatia, click here.