Proposed directive gives Member States freedom to set national criteria, in law or in tripartite agreements with social partners.
The European Commission presented this Wednesday a proposal for a directive for a framework to improve the adequacy of the minimum wages set by the Member States, either legally or through social dialogue, with reference to productivity and purchasing power, but with the final text giving up the establishment of mandatory common criteria for the 27 in the definition of the respective minimum remunerations.
In consideration, in the process that did not reach consensus in two phases of consultation, it was possible for Brussels to determine a mandatory common criterion that would translate into a percentage of the average gross or median remuneration of each country (50% of the average or 60% of the median salary) ). The proposal was, however, highly contested by employers’ organizations at European level, who argued that the setting of minimum wages was a matter of exclusive national competence.
Thus, the proposal for a directive now requires countries only to go ahead with national criteria for the definition of the minimum wage and with a framework for updates defined “in a stable and clear way”, as well as regular and timely updates, and also the establishment advisory bodies.
According to the proposal, “national criteria should include at least the purchasing power of minimum wages, the general level of gross wages and their distribution, the rate of growth of gross wages, and developments in labor productivity”. These criteria, he also adds, “must be defined according to national practices, either in relevant national legislation, either in decisions of the competent entities or in tripartite agreements”.
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