Collective agreements and minimum wages in low-paying sectors


The European Union’s industrial relations research body, Eurofound, has published a report analysing hundreds of collective agreements across 24 low-paying sectors to try to determine the role of collectively-bargained minimum wage rates in protecting the low paid. The 24 sectors include residential and non-residential social care. The analysis of all the sectors found that agreements in central and eastern European Member States refer relatively frequently and explicitly to statutory minimum wages as the minimum payable rates, rather than including higher collectively agreed rates. The report also found that there was a tendency for collective agreements not to be updated on a regular basis allowing collectively agreed minimum rates to fall below the statutory minimum. This was particularly the case in collective agreements from Croatia, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia and Spain and to some extent in France and Germany.

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