European Parliament votes through minimum wage deal
Today, the European Parliament voted in favour of the Directive on Minimum Wages in the EU. With this directive, two-thirds of Member States are expected to gradually increase their minimum wages, which will improve the standard of living for millions of people. Member States will have to take account of increases in the cost of living when calculating minimum wage levels. Determined at national level, minimum wages in the EU must now combat worker poverty and enable workers to have a decent standard of living.
Sara Matthieu MEP, Greens/EFA coordinator of the Employment and Social Affairs Committee, comments:
"The Minimum Wage Directive is an important victory for a more social European Union. Thanks to this directive, 25 million workers will see their wages increase by 20%. This legislation is also a step forward for gender equality. The gender pay gap should decrease by at least 5%, as women are over-represented in the lowest paid sectors. To protect all workers, we successfully fought to include platform workers.
“Even before the rapid rise of inflation and the cost of living crisis, 96.5 million people in the EU were living in poverty or at risk of social exclusion. Member States have two years to transpose the directive but given the urgency, we call on them to act now.”
Kim van Sparrentak, Greens/EFA MEP and Member of the Social Affairs Committee, comments:
"Workers on minimum wage are hit particularly hard by the inflation. EU countries must ensure that the minimum wage can sustain decent living conditions. This is why national governments must take responsibility and act faster than the official deadline of this directive.
“Around 25 million workers in the EU are expected to benefit from this legislation. Currently, around 10 percent of European workers live in poverty. The minimum wage will not be the same everywhere with this legislation, but countries will be obliged to encourage collective bargaining and put in place procedures and criteria that ensure fair minimum wages. For too long, the European Union, headed by the Commission, has neglected workers with the lowest wages. This law shows that a more social Europe is possible if the political will is there."
The minimum wage will not be harmonised with this legislation, but for determining the minimum wage countries will be required to promote collective bargaining and to set procedures and criteria to allow workers to have a decent standard of living. Member States are advised to establish a basket of goods and services at real prices to determine the cost of living with the aim of achieving a decent standard of living. In addition to material necessities such as food, clothing and housing, the need to participate in cultural, educational and social activities could also be taken into consideration.