Fico Signs Regulation on Minimum Wage Hike for 2018

Prime Minister Robert FIco (stock photo by TASR)

Bratislava, October 26 (TASR) – Prime Minister Robert Fico (Smer-SD) and Labour, Social Affairs and the Family Minister Jan Richter (Smer-SD) on Thursday jointly inked a regulation according to which the minimum wage for next year will go up from the current €435 per month to €480, an increase of 10.34 percent.

The minimum hourly wage for employees should amount to fractionally under €2.76.

“The minimum wage itself and its increases put pressure for salary hikes in all areas. If we look at the growth in the minimum wage since 2006, taking into account a slight increase during Iveta Radicova’s government (2010-12), we’re close to an almost 90-percent increase in the minimum wage between 2006-17,” said Fico at a press conference, adding that his Government wants to maintain this trend at all costs.

Fico reiterated that his party will hold talks with its coalition partners as well as with partners in Parliament on the possibility of including the minimum wage in the Constitution.

The prime minister also stated that if next year the social partners (Government, trade unions and employers) once again fail to agree on the minimum wage for 2019, the Government’s goal will be to increase the sum to €500. “We’re ahead of the promise made that the minimum wage will have reached the level of €500 by 2020. I see absolutely no reason why it couldn’t exceed €500,” he said, adding that if the decision was up to him, the minimum wage could even reach €750. “It must be beneficial for people to work in Slovakia,” he said.

The social partners repeatedly failed to agree on the minimum wage over the course of this year. Therefore, the Labour, Social Affairs and the Family Ministry was obliged to submit its own proposal for adjusting the minimum wage by law.

“Hikes in the minimum wage automatically increase the average salary in Slovakia. Moreover, hikes in the minimum wage deepen the difference between those who work and those who receive social benefits,” said Richter.
The total annual cost of minimum wage growth for private employers should reach €61.4 million.

The Labour Ministry’s impact analysis has further shown that the increase in the minimum wage should affect almost 119,000 employees, nearly 70,000 of whom work for self-employed private individuals and over 49,000 for firms.