Statutory minimum wage in the EU 2016

The level at which the statutory minimum wage is set greatly varies between EU Member States, new research by Eurofound highlights.

Bulgaria and Romania have the lowest minimum wage in the EU, while Luxembourg has the highest minimum wage – about nine times that of Bulgaria. Changes to the minimum wage also vary greatly between countries: between January 2015 and January 2016, the highest increases in the minimum wage (by more than 10%) were in Bulgaria, Estonia and Lithuania. In Belgium and Greece, by contrast, the minimum wage has remained unchanged since 2012.

STATUTORY-MINIMUM-WAGE-EU-2016The research, published by Eurofound’s EurWORK observatory, also draws attention to the considerable differences in the way in which countries establish minimum wage levels.

In 10 Member States, the government determines the minimum wage following a (non-binding) recommendation of a third party while in nine the wage is set unilaterally by the government.

In five countries a fixed rule for determining the minimum wage is used, while in several others a combination of methods is applied.

In April the UK Government’s new National Living Wage will become law.

If you’re working and aged 25 or over and not in the first year of an apprenticeship, you’ll be legally entitled to at least £7.20 per hour. That’s an extra fifty pence per hour in your pocket. The Government is committed to increasing this every year.

If you’re an employer, you’ll need to make sure you’re paying your staff correctly from 1st April 2016, as the National Living Wage will be enforced as strongly as the current National Minimum Wage.