Tripartite Council fails to agree on minimum wage rise

The Tripartite Council, comprised of representatives of the government, trade unions and employers, did not agree on the rise in the minimum wage in Czechia in 2021 today, so the cabinet must decide on it, PM Andrej Babis (ANO) told reporters after the council's meeting.

While employers would not raise the minimum wage at all, trade unions demand that it rise by 1,400 crowns to 16,000 crowns a month. The coalition government of Babis's ANO and the Social Democrats (CSSD) will decide on the minimum wage level based on the result of a debate on the cancellation of the super-gross salary, that is the gross salary increased by the health and social insurance payments covered by employers, in parliament, Babis and the unions and employers' representatives said.

In the past years, the minimum wage was always modified as of January. This year, it increased by 1,250 crowns to 14,600 crowns. Confederation of Industry President Jaroslav Hanak called today's talks about the minimum wage "undignified squabbles." "We have a completely different view of the matter. The government must decide on the tax rate after the super-gross salary cancellation first, which will have an immense impact on net wages," Hanak said.

Employers are warning that firms are fighting with the coronavirus crisis consequences. Along with the minimum wave, they would also have to raise the secured wage. It is paid in eight categories according to the qualification level, responsibility and work complexity. It varies from the minimum wage to its double. CMKOS umbrella trade union organisation chairman Josef Stredula said Czech low-income employees should not be in a worse position than their counterparts in the neighbouring Slovakia and Poland.

"The economic situation in Slovakia and Poland is a bit worse [than in the Czech Republic]. The minimum wage level in Slovakia is an equivalent of 16,900 crowns," Stredula noted. The social partners have not reached consensus on the minimum wage, so the government must decide on it, Babis concluded. The Labour and Social Affairs Ministry proposed in the summer that the minimum wage correspond to a half of the average wage from the year before last as of 2022.

The draft authors write in their documentation for the government that based of their formula, the minimum wage would rise from the current 14,600 to 17,100 crowns as of January. The highest secured wage would thus amount to the average wage of the year before last, that is 34,200 crowns. Last year, some 140,000 employees received the minimum wage in the Czech Republic with a population of 10.6 million, according to the Labour and Social Affairs Ministry's data.

Source: ČTK

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