Minimum Wages Far Below the Threshold

Total Croatia News

Many workers in EU countries, including Croatia, struggle to make a living with minimum wages which are far below the official low-wage threshold.

In ten EU member states, the minimum wage is 50 percent or less than the national median wage – which is why many workers earning minimum wages hardly make ends meet, reports on November 8, 2017.

“Minimal wages are absolutely too low. The European Union needs to set a target date for legally established minimum wages to reach at least 60 percent of the median wage, after which new goal should be increasing living wages. It is obvious that this is not possible overnight, but the goal should be set for the whole EU, and member states must sit down and negotiate with trade unions and employers and discuss how and when to reach that goal. Increasing the minimum wage to 60 percent of the median or average wage in each country would significantly reduce the in-work poverty rate with work and boost economic growth, “said Esther Lynch, Confederate Secretary of the ETUC.

The EU target for legally established minimum wage would not interfere with the minimum wage established by collective agreements in terms of the level and amount negotiated, or how they are agreed. In some EU countries, the minimum wages are so low that they are closer to 2/3 of the national median wage,  without necessarily being enough to live on, as is the case in Romania and Bulgaria.

The ETUC continues to lobby for a minimum wage increase and as part of an action plan for the implementation of the European Pillar of Social Rights, which should be adopted next week at the Gothenburg Summit. Of the 28 EU member states, 22 have legally established national minimum wages. The OECD database, used for the published briefing paper, does not contain data for Croatia, Bulgaria and Malta.

However, according to the SSSH data, the current minimum gross salary in Croatia amounts to 3,276 HRK which is 40.3 percent of the average median wage (August 2017). The SSSH has been demanding for many years to raise the minimum wage to 50 percent of the average gross salary.

With a progressive increase of up to 60 percent of the median gross wage (median wage, according to CBS, is 7,310 HRK), the minimum wage would amount to 4,386 kunas, i.e. a 34 percent increase is needed to achieve such figures.


Translated from Poslovni Dnevnik


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