Workers in half of EU member states are denied the full statutory minimum wage because of their age, occupation or because they are workers with a disability, ETUC research has found. Age is the most common criterion with eight member states deducting up to 70% of the real rate for under-21s. Some member states also allow discrimination against seasonal workers, domestic workers, seafarers or workers with disabilities. The European Commission’s impact assessment of its draft directive on adequate minimum wages states that, rather than facilitating access to the labour market, variations from the statutory minimum wage “can exacerbate existing inequalities for vulnerable groups of workers.” The ETUC wants to ensure that the directive will outlaw these kinds of exclusions and reductions.
ETUC calls for end to minimum wage exclusions
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The ETUC wants to get down to work on the minimum wage directive following the long-awaited opinion from the EU Council's legal service. The opinion confirms what the ETUC has been arguing all along that a directive is possible and legally based on the protection of working conditions (Article 153(1)(b) TFEU in conjunction with Article 153(2) TFEU). The ETUC is now calling on governments to deliver and work towards a directive that will make it possible “for workers on minimum wages to make ends meet, to pay the rent, to put food on the table for them and their families.” The ETUC added: “The
As the debate continues during the first phase consultation over the European Commission's proposals on fair minimum wages, the ETUC is highlighting the need for a major boost to legal minimum wages across Europe. It argues that in most of the 22 EU member states with a statutory national minimum wage it fails to meet even the minimal at risk-of-poverty wage threshold of 60% of the median wage. In 10 member states, the statutory minimum is 50% or less of the national median wage.
The FPSU trade union confederation has called on the government to raise the minimum wage to keep it in line with calculations of a living wage. It argues that in 2017 the two-stage increase of the minimum wage to UAH 3200 (EUR 104) was positive for both the standard of living and economic growth. However, this January's increase to UAH 3723 (EUR 121) was inadequate to keep pace with the living wage which had already risen to UAH 4011 (EUR 130) and was at UAH 4213 (EUR 137) by April. According to the FPSU around 20% of workers are classified as poor and the average wage at EUR 262 is only