Fico: Minimum Wage Should Reach €500 between 2019-20

Labour, Social Affairs and the Family Minister Jan Richter (left) and Prime Minister Robert Fico (both Smer-SD) signing a regulation on the increase of the minimum wage on Monday. (photo by TASR)

Bratislava, October 17 (TASR) – People working for minimum wage will be receiving €435 per month in 2017, as Prime Minister Robert Fico and Labour, Social Affairs and the Family Minister Jan Richter (both Smer-SD) signed regulation towards this matter on Monday.

“Every minimum wage hike is a historic moment for us. As long as we’re members of any government coalition, we’ll insist not only on preserving the principle of a minimum wage but also on creating a mechanism for its regular increment,” announced Fico.

Fico has promised that the minimum wage should reach €500 per month between 2019-20. “If we sustain the pace of increases – and we don’t see any problem in that because the macroeconomic indexes are very positive – then the promise that the minimum wage will begin with a number five between 2019-20 is absolutely real,” noted Fico.

According to Fico, this is of huge importance for the Cabinet because there are still a lot of people who are working for minimum wage. “We want to make the difference between those who work and those who don’t more visible, so that people know it’s worth being employed,” added Fico.

The social partners (the Government, employers and trade unions) were negotiating the minimum wage hike, but they didn’t come to an agreement. Consequently, the Labour, Social Affairs and the Family Ministry is responsible for suggesting the amount. This hike would mean that the minimum wage will represent 52 percent of the average monthly salary in Slovakia.

Richter also thinks that the minimum wage is a factor for motivating people to take up a job. “There are currently 113,000 employees working for less than €405 per month in Slovakia. When it becomes €435 per month, it will be 124,000 employees and that’s not an insignificant number,” explained the labour minister.

The minimum wage stood at €405 per month in 2016, which was an increase of €25 compared to 2015.