FedEE Review of minimum wage rates

Focus on 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 January 1st 2016 the minimum monthly wage for seafarers is 614 US dollars. The minimum consolidated monthly wage for able seamen — including overtime and annual paid leave — is 2,468 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 975.87 euros EUR 01.01.2016
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  420 leva BGN 01.01.2016
Croatia  3,029.55 kunas HRK 01.01.2015
Cyprus [3] 924.00 euros EUR 01.04.2012
Czech Republic [4]  9,900 koruny CZK 01.01.2016
Estonia  430.00 euro EUR 01.01.2016
France [5]  1,466.62 euros EUR 01.01.2016
Germany 1,473.33 euros EUR 01.01.2015
Greece [6] [7] 585.78 euros EUR 01.03.2012
Guernsey 1,187.33 pounds GGP 01.10.2015
Hungary [8] 111,000 forints HUF 01.01.2016
Iceland [9]  214,000 kronur ISK 01.01.2014
Ireland  1,586.00 euros EUR 01.01.2016
Isle of Man  1,213.33 IOM pounds IMP 01.01.2016
Jersey (Channel Islands) 1,208.13 Jersey pounds JEP 01.04.2016
Kosovo [10] 170.00 euros EUR 30.04.2011
Latvia  370 euros LVL 01.01.2016
Lithuania  350 euros EUR 01.01.2016
Luxembourg [11] 1,922.96 euros EUR 01.01.2015
Macedonia [12] 10,080 dinars (net) MKD 01.01.2016
Malta [13] 728.04 euros EUR 01.01.2016
Moldova 1,900.00 lei MDL 01.05.2015
Montenegro [14] 193.00 euros EUR 22.03.2013
Netherlands 1,524.60 euros EUR 01.01.2016
Poland 1,850 zlotys PLN 01.01.2016
Portugal [6] 530 euros EUR 01.01.2016
Romania [15]  1,250.00 leu RON 01.01.2016
Russian Federation [16]  6,204 roubles RUB 01.01.2016
Serbia 28,430.00 new dinars RSD 01.01.2015
Slovakia 405 euros EUR 01.01.2016
Slovenia [17] [18]  790.73 euros EUR 01.01.2015
Spain [6]   655.20 euros EUR 01.01.2016
Turkey 1,300 Turkish lira (net) TRY 01.01.2016
Ukraine 1,450.00 hryvnias UAH 01.05.2016
United Kingdom [19] 1,161.33 pounds sterling GBP 01.10.2015

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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 129,000 in 2016.

[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: the rate stated here is the net rate. It applies to 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 November 1st 2015 it is 17,300 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.

 [19] UK: As of April 1st 2016 employees aged 25 and over must be paid the new national living wage set at £7.20 per hour

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