THE TRIPARTITE Social Partnership Council, an advisory body representing labour, employers and government, has failed to agree on minimum wage increases, leaving the decision to cabinet.
With trade unions calling for the minimum wage to be increased from Sk4,920 to Sk6,190 per month ($109 to $138), representatives of the employers' association are urging a more moderate increase, to Sk5,320 per month.
Trade unions representative Peter Gajdoš explained that the higher figure represented 50 per cent of the average Slovak monthly wage, still below the European Union-recommended level of 60 per cent of average monthly wage.
However, Jozef Kollár from the Association of Employers countered that a higher minimum wage would mean increased payments to social and health care funds, increasing the burdens already faced by small businesses and possibly decreasing employment.
Deputy Prime Minister for the Economy Ivan Mikloš said that the decision will now revert to cabinet, but suggested that an increased minimum wage could increase unemployment among young people by increasing the gap between working salaries and unemployment benefits.
5. Aug 2002 at 0:00 | From press reports of TASR and SITA