January 27, 2023

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EU agreement on a 'decent' minimum wage: 'You can add 3.50 per hour'

EU agreement on a ‘decent’ minimum wage: ‘You can add 3.50 per hour’

This was agreed by the European Parliament and the relevant ministers from the member states. Poverty and inequality must be fought with new European law

Higher minimum wages should improve working and living conditions for European workers. The minimum wage is unequal in all EU countries.

According to the cost of living

according to the agreement The level of the minimum wage should depend on the cost of living in the member state and on what others earn.

To determine this, the purchasing power of the employees and the distribution in relation to other wages in a country must be taken into account. The law provides a number of options for calculating a “decent” minimum wage.

“It should be a wage that allows you to participate in social life,” says Petra Polster of the FNV union. She participated in the plan with negotiators from other European unions.

14 euros per hour

According to the federation, the result of the sum is that the minimum wage should rise from 10.48 euros to 14 euros per hour. That would be a 33 percent increase. “We’ve also previously calculated that €14 is a living wage in the Netherlands,” says Polster. “And we’ve been defending that for four years. The work has to pay off.”

The Ministry of Social Affairs and Labor admits that according to plans and calculations from Brussels, this minimum could be around 14 euros. But he says the Netherlands itself also has an influence on this. “This temporary agreement is not a mandatory increase in the minimum wage to €14.”

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time needed

The determination of this minimum hourly wage can be based on several criteria and it is possible that allowances and other support measures in the Netherlands are not included by Brussels.

If interpreted correctly, a lower minimum wage may be justified. The ministry says that the full texts of the directive will not arrive until tomorrow and that it needs some time to respond to that.

The Interim Agreement to guarantee this minimum wage was concluded between the European Parliament and the negotiators of the Council of the European Union, in this case the Ministers of Social Affairs. As the European Commission agrees, This morning Clear.

to wait too long

The law has not been formally adopted by the ministers of social affairs in the member states. It should happen in September. Then member states have two years to introduce the law.

Bolster wants this to happen faster in the Netherlands. “This must be done immediately. The European Union is now saying it is necessary. Our minister must agree to this.”

More collective labor agreements

In accordance with previous agreements, the minimum wage is already being increased in the Netherlands. Recently, the Council of Ministers decided, over the next three years, to gradually raise the minimum wage by 7.5 percent “This is, of course, too little and too slow,” says Polster.

In addition to higher minimum wages, the European Parliament and the European Council also agree to give workers a better standing when entering into group work contacts.

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EU member states must make plans to ensure that at least 80 percent of contracts are concluded with a collective labor agreement. So salaries should be higher. “In the Netherlands, we don’t achieve 80 percent,” Polster says.

Don’t worry VNO-NCW

VNO-NCW does not think it will delay so quickly by raising the minimum wage sharply.

“It remains a national remit and in cooperation with the social partners,” a spokesperson for the employers said. “The question is whether a lot will change for the Netherlands in practice.”