THE MINIMUM monthly wage in Slovakia will go up from €352 in 2014 to €380 (€2.184 per hour) in 2015, which represents an increase of €28 or 7.95 percent. The cabinet approved the increase on October 14 after the tripartite consisting of representatives of the government, employers and trade unions had failed to reach a consensus on the matter.
By the more significant increase of the minimum wage the cabinet wants to secure a higher monthly income than the poverty threshold, which is a level of income set at 60 percent of the median household income. The poverty threshold in 2013 was €337 per month, according to data from the Slovak Statistics Office.
Prime Minister Robert Fico marked the minimum wage increase as one of the fulfilled measures from the package of 15 positive social measures his cabinet has proposed.
As he said after the cabinet session, it is the duty of the cabinet, after hard consolidation, to arrive at measures that increase standards of living.
“We will constantly create pressure on increasing the minimum wage,” said Fico as cited by the SITA newswire. “It must be more worthwhile for people to work than to sit at home and take social benefits.”
Representatives of employers have been against such a high increase from the very beginning, claiming that the increase of labour costs that the minimum wage increase will bring may negatively affect the competitiveness of Slovakia’s industry.
PM Fico, who said that the minimum wage is for them a holy thing, responded that the cabinet offers to employers as compensation a mechanism of reduction of health insurance contributions.
20. Oct 2014 at 0:00 | Compiled by Spectator staff