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HOTREC position paper on "Adequate minimum wages"

Wednesday, 02 December 2020
social_affairs position-paper

HOTREC position paper on "Adequate minimum wages"

HOTREC takes note of the Commission proposal for a Directive on “Adequate minimum wages in the European Union” (COM(2020)682 final).

HOTREC fully supports the main objectives of the Directive: improving the adequacy of minimum wage across Europe and the access of workers to minimum wage protection in the EU.

Nevertheless, HOTREC deeply regrets the choice of instrument chosen by the European Commission as expressed in the two-stage social partner consultation. A Council Recommendation would have been the correct instrument to put forward.

In any case, HOTREC is willing to explain its views to both the European Parliament and the Council and hopes that its position is taken into account.

What is the way forward?

• Encourage the continuation of well-established collective bargaining on minimum wage settings considering different economic and social factors such as taxation; career and training opportunities; social benefits
• Support a stronger involvement of social partners in setting statutory minimum wages (with the agreement of social partners and in respect of national competences)
• Support the respect for statutory minimum wage systems
• National and EU skills policies should be developed to allow better productivity of low skilled workers. This will then originate better incomes for those workers
• International indicators should be deleted from the text. They don’t take into account political, economic, social, or national traditions of the different countries and might increase the pay gap between countries
• Promote different forms of work: this will motivate workers to hire more. Moreover, it will improve work-life balance; support career choices; foster social inclusion; enable personal choices
• Use the European Semester process to implement effective structural reforms, boost investment strategies and encourage responsible fiscal policies
• All the above will help tackle poverty and safeguard good living conditions across Europe.

Click to read the full HOTREC position paper.