As part of an annual series on minimum wages, this report summarises the key developments during 2020 and early 2021 with an emphasis on social partners’ roles and views. It looks at how minimum wages were set in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic and how minimum wages act as a reference for income support measures. Information from interviews with decision-makers on the process of setting the minimum wage in 2020, along with their assessment of impacts of the proposed EU Directive on adequate minimum wages is also included.
Minimum wages in the EU
- Published between
- 2 februar 2015 - 3 februar 2021
This series reports on developments in minimum wage rates across the EU, including how they are set and how they have developed over time in nominal and real terms. The series explores where there are statutory minimum wages or collectively agreed minimum wages in the Member States, as well as minimum wage coverage rates by gender.
- Article3 februar 2021
Despite the unusually tough economic and labour market conditions, most EU Member States made nominal and real increases to their minimum wages in 2020. This is what a first overview of recent minimum wage developments reveals. Some countries lived up to earlier promises or pre-agreements, while other countries strayed somewhat off their original path but still maintained the overall trend of increasing minimum wages in line with other wages. Although most countries were cautious in the level of increase granted, low inflation rates meant that the value of minimum wages still went up beyond rises in consumer prices. For the time being, at least, it can be concluded that the policy response in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic is distinct from the approach taken during the global financial crisis, when a greater number of countries moved quickly to freeze nominal minimum wages.
- Blog7 juli 2020
Minimum wages, one of the cornerstone issues for Ursula von der Leyen’s Commission, were a hot topic in the EU at the beginning of the year. Then the COVID-19 public health crisis struck. Now, with an economic crisis and recession looming, the question is not only what impact the crisis has had on minimum wage earners, but also what is the impact on the debate itself. How can the European Commission and Member States ensure minimum wages that are fair and provide a decent standard of living during and following a ‘black swan’ such as the Coronacrisis?
- Report4 juni 2020
This report, as part of an annual series on minimum wages, summarises the key developments during 2019 and early 2020 around the EU initiative on fair wages and puts the national debates on setting the rates for 2020 and beyond in this context. The report features how minimum wages were set and the role of social partners. It discusses developments in statutory minimum wages and presents data on minimum wage rates in collective agreements related to 10 low-paid jobs for countries without statutory minimum wages.
- Blog1 april 2020
The coronavirus disease (Covid-19) is having drastic consequences for the world of work. In most European countries workers who are not delivering essential ‘frontline’ services are being asked to stay home. Unfortunately many are out of work, while many of those who are not are minimum-wage and low-pay workers, including those working in retail and food-supply chains. How can we ensure that these workers, so essential to our daily lives, are adequately and fairly paid?
- Blog15 januar 2020
As one of their ‘100 days in office’ initiatives, the new European Commission intends to propose an initiative for an EU minimum wage. The aim is that by 2024 every worker in the EU should earn a fair and adequate wage, no matter where they live.
- Blog17 juli 2019
The Socialist-led Spanish government that emerged last summer had, by the end of 2018, approved a hike in the statutory minimum wage. This was agreed with the left-wing Podemos party as part of an attempt to secure the parliamentary support needed for passing the proposed 2019 budget – although failure to do so resulted in the April election. The new minimum wage came into force on 1 January, rising from 14 monthly payments of €735.90 per year to €900 for those in full-time employment.
- Report4 juni 2019
In most EU Member States, reviews of the statutory minimum wage rates spark a great deal of public interest. Such reviews affect the wider workforce, beyond those workers on the statutory minimum wage. Pay rates in collective agreements may be adapted in response to an increase in the minimum wage, affecting lower-paid workers more generally; social benefits may also be affected, making the impact of such revisions even more widespread. This report covers developments in statutory minimum wages in 2018–2019 in the EU and Norway.
- Article11 februar 2019
In the majority of Member States, the minimum wages rates were increased in January 2019. The first findings on the minimum wage-setting process during 2018 show that a rise in political influence in some countries and issues regarding the transparent and predictable way of setting minimum wages in others played an important role this year. Positive economic developments in most Member States strengthened the demand for larger increases in the minimum wage.
- Report6 februar 2018
The term ‘minimum wage’ refers to the various legal restrictions governing the lowest rate payable by employers to workers, regulated by formal laws or statutes. This report provides information on statutory minimum wages that are generally applicable in a country and not limited to specific sectors, occupations or groups of employees. While the scope of the report covers all 28 EU Member States, the main findings relate to the 22 countries that had a statutory minimum wage in place in 2018.