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?
Minimum wages in the EU
- Published between
- 2 February 2015 - 7 July 2020
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.
- Report4 June 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 January 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 July 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 June 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 February 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 February 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.
- Report9 February 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.
- Report29 January 2016
In 22 out of 28 EU Member States, there is a generally applicable statutory minimum wage and the level of this minimum wage varies greatly from one country to another. This article provides information on statutory minimum wage levels and how this is determined across the EU in January 2016.