International Relations

Statutory minimum wage varies greatly across EU

The level at which the statutory minimum wage is set greatly varies between the Member States of the EU, as new research by Eurofound highlights. Bulgaria and Romania have the lowest minimum wage in the EU, while Luxembourg has the highest minimum wage – about nine times that of Bulgaria. Changes to the minimum wage also vary greatly between countries: between January 2015 and January 2016, the highest increases in the minimum wage (by more than 10%) were in Bulgaria, Estonia and Lithuania. In Belgium and Greece, by contrast, the minimum wage has remained unchanged since 2012.

The in-depth article Statutory minimum wages in the EU 2016, published by the Agency’s EurWORK observatory, also draws attention to the considerable differences in the way in which countries establish minimum wage levels. In 10 Member States, the government determines the minimum wage following a (non-binding) recommendation of a third party – often the social partners or a tripartite body. In nine countries, the wage is set unilaterally by the government. And a fixed rule for the determination of the minimum wage is used in five countries. In several countries, these ways of determination are combined. Read the full article.

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