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The Short: Consultations Start on EU Strategy of minimum wage

The European Commission established a new consultation with social partners on Wednesday to make sure a minimum wage for many employees which it asserts is vital for the bloc to recoup from the financial effects of the pandemic.

“The EU was especially hit by the coronavirus pandemic, with adverse results on member nations’ markets, companies, and the earnings of employees and their households,” that the Commission stated in a statement.

“Ensuring that all employees in the EU make a good living is vital for the restoration in addition to for building honest and resilient savings, and minimal wages have an essential part to perform”,” it added.

Based on Eurostat, the EU’s official statistics bureau, 21 of the bloc’s 27 member countries possess a minimum wage but their degree fluctuates widely.

Monthly minimum salaries are usually under $600 from the east and over $1,500 in the northwest of the EU.

On the opposite end of the spectrum is Luxembourg, where employees on minimum wage make a gross annual salary of $2,142.

The EU’s consultation doesn’t mean to set a European minimum wage across all EU nations. On the contrary, it needs to decide on a string of states that member countries need to use to set up their minimum wage.

Nordic countries, in which the minimal income is the result of collective bargaining on a federal level, are very likely to be immune to this particular initiative.

“Always when we get something that works well in certain member countries, there’s the anxiety that the European ruler will reduce the criteria, but this isn’t the situation. We’re talking about minimal criteria not greatest,” Yana Toom, an Estonia MEP with Renew Europe and the European Parliament rapporteur at the minimum wage proposal, stated.

The Commission is assessing whether or not to present binding laws to be certain member countries apply the principles they will suggest.

“There is not any requirement to keep to issue guidelines that no one implements, Thus I think we desire these items are binding and it’s apparent that minimum wage must guarantee people at least acceptable working conditions,” MEP Yana Toom also stated.

70 percent find it hard to make ends meet

“We will need to improve demand to escape the crisis we’re likely to come in the aftermath of this Coronavirus crisis and just how can we do this? We make sure people have money to invest and individuals with reduced salary invest more and all their wages as they have to,” ETUC deputy general secretary Esther Lynch informed Euronews.

“This is an essential way for where member nations and the EU will be certain there is cash in the market and individuals can invest,” she contended.

Business institutions declined our interview request.

The initiation of the EU appointment — that will conclude on September 4 — comes only after Spain sped up the execution of guaranteed minimum earnings.

Statutory minimum wages were increased in many EU nations for 2020, a report published on Thursday from the European Foundation for the Improvement of Working and Living Conditions (Eurofound) noted.

The gains were large in member nations such as Poland, Slovakia, and the Czech Republic, which increased their minimum salary by a respective 17%, 12%, and 11%.

Based on Eurofound, 9 percent of the EU’s workforce gained the minimum wage in 2017, with girls more likely than men to be on it.

Additionally, it discovered that seven out of ten minimum wage employees report some difficulty in making ends meet, in contrast to fewer than half of additional employees.

“The report’s findings indicate nevertheless that gains in the relative degree of minimum salary within a nation by itself might not be enough to lower the share of employees who report that they find it difficult or very hard to make ends meet,” Christine Aumayr-Pintar, senior research director at Eurofound, mentioned.

“It is the degree of minimum wages and what they can purchase that thing,” she added.

The analysis concluded, nevertheless, that as European authorities grapple with the financial catastrophe unleashed by the pandemic, “minimum wages can have an extra part in the policy mix to stabilize incomes and so counteract a downward spiral to depression or recession.”