FedEE Review of minimum wage rates across Europe

Many countries in Europe operate statutory or collectively determined minimum wage rates. In all but a handful of countries, these rates provide a standard of living that is close to (or even below) subsistence levels. Denmark, Finland, Italy and Sweden do not operate national minimum rates, but nevertheless have minimum rates set through sectoral collective agreements that jointly cover a high proportion of the working population. Austria set a minimum pay level in 2009, but now appears to have let it lapse. Germany introduced a national minimum wage for the first time on January 1st 2015 although transitional provisions apply in some circumstances.

The International Labour Organisation establishes minimum rates for able seamen. As of December 31st 2013 the minimum monthly wage for seafarers is 585 US dollars. The minimum consolidated monthly wage, including overtime and annual paid leave is 1,028 US dollars.

Monthly gross statutory minimum wage rates:

Full-time adult employees, aged 23+ [1]

Country Minimum wage rate Currency code Date effective
Albania 22,000 lek ALL 01.07.2013
Andorra 962.00 euros EUR 01.01.2013
Austria [2] 1,000.00 euros EUR 01.01.2009
Belarus 2,100,100 Belarusian roubles BYR 01.01.2015
Belgium  1,559.38 euros EUR 01.12.2012
Bulgaria  360 leva BGN 01.01.2015
Croatia  3,029.55 kunas HRK 01.01.2015
Cyprus [3] 924.00 euros EUR 01.04.2012
Czech Republic [4]  9,200 koruny CZK 01.01.2015
Estonia  390.00 euro EUR 01.01.2015
France [5]  1,457.52 euros EUR 01.01.2015
Germany 1,473.33 euros EUR 01.01.2015
Greece [6] [7] 585.78 euros EUR 01.03.2012
Guernsey 1,152.66 pounds GGP 01.10.2014
Hungary [8] 105,000 forints HUF 01.01.2015
Iceland [9]  204,000 kronur ISK 01.02.2013
Ireland  1,499.33 euros EUR 01.07.2011
Isle of Man  1,152.66 IOM pounds IMP 01.10.2014
Jersey (Channel Islands) 1,149.20 Jersey pounds JEP 01.04.2014
Kosovo [10] 170.00 euros EUR 30.04.2011
Latvia  360 euros LVL 01.01.2015
Lithuania  1,035 litai LTL 01.10.2014
Luxembourg [11] 1,922.96 euros EUR 01.01.2015
Macedonia [12] 12,268 dinars MKD 01.01.2013
Malta [13] 720.46 euros EUR 01.01.2015
Moldova 1,650.00 lei MDL 01.04.2014
Montenegro [14] 193.00 euros EUR 22.03.2013
Netherlands 1,501.80 euros EUR 01.01.2015
Poland 1,750 zlotys PLN 01.01.2015
Portugal [6] 505 euros EUR 01.10.2014
Romania [15]  975.00 leu RON 01.01.2015
Russian Federation [16]  5,965 roubles RUB 01.01.2015
Serbia 28,430.00 new dinars RSD 01.01.2015
Slovakia 380 euros EUR 01.01.2015
Slovenia [17] [18]  783.66 net euros EUR 01.01.2013
Spain [6]   648.60 euros EUR 01.01.2015
Turkey 1,201.50 Turkish lira TRY 01.01.2015
Ukraine 1,218.00 hryvnias UAH 01.01.2015
United Kingdom 1,126.66 pounds sterling GBP 01.10.2014

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[1] Where official rates are expressed by the hour or week, they have been converted to monthly rates on the basis of a 40-hour week and 52-week year. Minimum wage figures are gross (pre-tax) rates and exclude any 13th or 14th month payments that may be due under national legislation, collective agreements, custom or practice.

[2] Austria: applies to certain industry sectors. Applicable to all sectors from 01.01.2009. Employees are entitled to 14 monthly payments each year.

[3] Cyprus: applicable to certain groups in non-unionised sectors after 6 months’ employment. Minimum wage upon first recruitment is 870 euros in 2014

[4] Czech Republic: rates may not include travel allowances, on-call payments and severance compensation.

[5] France: based on statutory 35-hour week.

[6] Greece, Portugal, Spain: white-collar workers only. Workers normally entitled to 14 monthly payments per year.

[7] Greece: rate applicable to over 25s. Different rates apply to blue and white-collar workers and vary by length of service and marital status. Private sector workers only. The minimum wage was cut by 22% from 751 euros pcm due to austerity measures. The minimum wage for those under 25 has been cut by 32% (currently 510 euros).

[8] Hungary: the minimum wage for skilled workers is HUF 122,000 in 2015.

[9] Iceland: The minimum pay level is established through a national collective agreement.

[10] Kosovo: rate applies to over 35s. Those under the age of 35 are entitled to a minimum wage of 130 euros per month.

[11] Luxembourg: unskilled workers only

[12] Macedonia: all sectors except textiles and leather – where lower rates exist.

[13] Malta: Higher wage rates are set by order in the following sectors: agriculture, beverages, domestic work, clay and glass work products, food manufacturing, hire cars and private buses, hospitals and buses, jewellery and watches, leather goods and shoes, papers, plastic, chemicals and petroleum, private security services, professional offices, public transport, sextons and custodians, textiles, tobacco manufacture, transport equipment, metal, woodworks and private cleaning services.

[14] Montenegro: the rate is normally adjusted on the basis of a recommendation from the Social Council.

[15] Romania: based on 170 hours per month.

[16] Russia: the monthly minimum wage in Moscow is more than twice the national rate: from January 1st 2015 it is 14,500 roubles.

[17] Slovenia: the minimum wage is defined as normal net take-home pay.

[18] Slovenia: all sectors except textiles and leather – where lower rates apply.


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