In its continuing campaign to underline the importance of implementing a strong and effective directive on minimum wages, the ETUC has release figures showing that the gap in earnings between the richest and poorest Europeans grew in a majority of EU countries over the last decade. The ‘unequal Europe’ report produced by the ETUC and its ETUI research institute shows wage inequality increased in 14 member states between 2010 and 2019, most notably in Hungary, Spain and Belgium. The analysis suggests that trend is the result of a decrease in the share of workers covered by collective bargaining agreements and fall or freeze in the relative value of minimum wages.
ETUC highlights data showing increase in wage gap
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An analysis by the ETUC shows that higher minimum wages across Europe could have a massive impact on the gender pay gap. The ETUC has been calling for a double threshold – 50% of the average wage/60% of the median wage – to be used in the directive on Adequate Minimum Wages. If this were in force then the gender pay gap would be cut by 25% in Romania, by 19% in Greece, by 12% in Poland, by 11% in Slovakia and by 10% in Spain and Luxembourg. The ETUC underlines that many women are trapped in underpaid and undervalued jobs and make up 76% of the 49 million care workers in the EU. The pay
The ETUC quotes new research from the Eurofound agency showing that in 11 EU Member States over a half of people say that have difficulty making ends meet. This is further evidence of the important of the ETUC's pay rise campaign and undermines any complacency about the impact of the current economic recovery. The survey also reveals that households in seven countries say that they are no better off than they were in 2007 before the financial and economic crisis.
The monthly and hourly minimum wage rates are set to rise by just over 9%, taking the monthly amount to EUR 607 and the hourly rate to EUR 3.72. The minimum wage is discussed in a tripartite council which takes into account a number of factors but the increases are also linked to specific targets - since 2017 it was stipulated that the ratio of the minimum wage to the average wage should be kept between 45% and 50%. It is also linked to trends in minimum and average wages across the European Union.