Minimum wage

12 April 2019

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. 

Most EU Member States have a statutory national minimum wage in place, although its level, adjustment mechanisms and coverage vary. Some countries set collectively agreed minimum wages in sectoral agreements, while others have no statutory or formally agreed minimum wage mechanisms in place.

The EU institutions jointly proclaimed the European Pillar of Social Rights in November 2017, setting out the EU’s commitment to fair wages for workers. This includes ensuring adequate minimum wages for workers to allow them to have a decent standard of living, safeguarding the ability of the low-skilled and young workers to find employment, while also making work financially attractive.

Eurofound’s work

Eurofound provides regular updates on pay in the EU, including minimum wages in the Member States.

Key contributions

The 2018 update on minimum wages in Europe provides information on statutory minimum wage levels, how the minimum wage has been determined for 2018 and minimum wage coverage across the EU.

In a study on pay in Europe in the 21st century, Eurofound explored the implications of a hypothetical scenario of a minimum wage coordinated at EU level and set at 60% of the median national wage.

Featured: 2018 minimum wages in Europe

6 February - 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. In the majority of countries, the social partners have been involved in the setting of the minimum wage in 2018 – in marked contrast to the beginning of the decade when minimum wage-setting was characterised by strong government intervention.
Statutory minimum wages 2018

Data and resources

Ongoing work


Highlights (8)

All (128)

Publications (22)

Articles (101)

News (4)

Events (1)