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Tripartite fails to strike deal on minimum wage increase
13 Aug 2013 Flash News
The social partners failed to reach accord on an increase in the minimum wage as of 2014 at a session of the Economic and Social Council (HSR) in Bratislava on Monday, August 12, that brought together representatives of the government, employers and trade unions. Consequently, the Labour, Social Affairs and the Family Ministry will hold further talks with employers and trade unions (all three known collectively as the 'tripartite') later in August, Labour Minister Ján Richter told the TASR newswire.
If the tripartite does not reach an agreement, the government will discuss a proposal from the ministry to increase the minimum wage 2.4 percent as of 2014. This would translate into a rise from €337.70 to €349.50. Meanwhile, the trade unions suggest that the wage be increased by 8 percent as of 2014. Employers, for their part, oppose any increase whatsoever, alleging that such a measure would have a negative impact on the salary policies of companies and would distort the labour market.
The session on Monday also discussed other social-policy issues such as childbirth and children's allowances and subsistence payments. Richter said that all the proposals submitted by the ministry were backed by the other two parties, but the ministry's proposed amendment concerning child allowances has been withdrawn so as to allow for further discussions with the Education Ministry.
Under the Labour Ministry initiative, only people who work for at least eight hours weekly should be eligible for subsistence benefits. “None of the modifications that we're bringing forward are designed to save money for the state budget,” said Richter. “Instead, they're meant to prompt those who receive the basic [subsistence] benefit to work. Each of them should do some work for at least eight hours a week, or 32 hours a month, so as to qualify for the benefit.” However, the minister heralded further talks on the matter with the Slovak Towns and Villages Association (ZMOS) and job centres.
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