The minimum monthly wage in Slovakia should rise from €352 in 2014 to €380 (€2.184 per hour) in 2015, which represents an increase of 7.95 percent, according to a proposal approved by the Cabinet at its regular weekly session on October 15.
The proposal was drawn up by the Labour, Social Affairs and the Family Ministry following the tripartite group’s (meaning government, employers and trade unions) inability to reach a consensus on the matter.
The ministry claims that the minimum salary next year should ensure monthly incomes that surpass the poverty threshold, which is a level of income set at 60 percent of the median household income in the given country. According to data from the Slovak Statistics Office on income and living conditions of Slovak households, the poverty threshold in 2013 represented €337 per month.
Representatives of employers were unhappy with the proposal of €380 as the minimum monthly wage at the recent tripartite talks.
Prime Minister Robert Fico said on October 15, as quoted by the TASR newswire, that the government does not approve of the minimum wage freeze and will consistently exert pressure on seeing the minimum wage of employees go up. The goal is to make the employment more advantageous to people than being on the welfare.
According to Labour Minister Ján Richter, with this measure the cabinet has paved the way for the employees of the lowest income class to receive a bonus akin to a thirteenth salary. Richter considers this good news for Slovakia as well as other set of approved measures such as the option of receiving welfare and salary simultaneously and the introduction of the deductible levee sum.
Both Fico and Richter reject the criticism that the minimum wage hikes will have negative impacts on employment.
“It’s quite strange to hear someone talking about minimum wage as something that will cause lay-offs,” Fico said. “We’re aware that there are businesses of crucial importance to the economic growth of Slovakia. If representatives of businesses say that they have some problem with this, then we offer significant cuts up to the €500 salary level in the form of reductions in health levies. This will mean for the given category of people, which numbers almost 600,000 individuals, practically a thirteenth salary.”
Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
The Slovak Spectator cannot vouch for the accuracy of the information presented in its Flash News postings.
16. Oct 2014 at 14:00