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Romania and the European minimum wage

Romania must introduce the European minimum wage by November 15.

Photo: pixabay.com
Photo: pixabay.com

, 17.06.2024, 13:50

Romanians are paid one of the lowest gross minimum wages per economy in the entire European Union. Eurostat data show that they receive the second lowest average hourly wage in the Union, namely 10.4 Euros, far from the European average, which is 24 Euros per hour. Moreover, in Luxembourg an hour of work is paid almost 5 times better than in Romania. However, according to statistics, the average hourly wage has increased in recent years in Romania as well, but insignificantly in relation to the price increases that have occurred. Specialists say that, more often than not, these wage increases were not felt by employees, actually covering the price increases.

 

According to the National Institute of Statistics, in February, the average net salary was 4,876 lei (about 975 Euros), up by 14% as compared to the same month of 2023. This year, however, things should change because Romania will introduce the European minimum wage, and according to the EU Directive, the minimum wage in a country must represent at least 50% of the average income. At present, in Romania, the value of the minimum gross salary is 3,300 lei (660 Euros) and will increase to 3,700 lei (740 Euros) starting July 1. Given that the salary taken into account when establishing the state social insurance budget for 2024 is 7,567 lei (over 1,500 Euros), the condition of the minimum salary/average salary ratio is to be respected. The introduction of the European minimum wage is also accompanied by other conditions.

 

Thus, the governments of the member countries pledge to promote collective wage bargaining, to update and index-link the minimum wage per economy to respect the minimum wage/average wage ratio, to collect and report data on wages to the European Commission. Referring to the European Directive that will have to be implemented in Romania by November 15, the Prime Minister Marcel Ciolacu declared that Romanians would have salaries as close as possible to the European average.

 

Marcel Ciolacu: “The project regarding the introduction of the European minimum wage in Romania was made public, so that Romanians have jobs paid closer to the European average. I think this is what Romanians expect from us, a better standard of living and fair prices.”

 

We remind you that the Directive on the minimum wage in the EU was adopted by the European Parliament in 2022. It obliges the member states of the community bloc that have statutory minimum wages to guarantee that the money earned will allow people to lead a decent life. Official statistics show that in many of the EU countries, the monthly gross minimum wage is below 1,000 Euros, and in some even less than 750 Euros. Most member countries have already implemented the national minimum wage directive. Austria, Denmark, Finland, Italy and Sweden have minimum wages set by collective labor agreements, while Cyprus has statutory wages for different occupations. (LS)

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