Labour Minister, Lia Olguta Vasilescu, said Monday evening, for Antena 3 TV private broadcaster, that the Government is working on a decision to increase the minimum wage to RON 2,050, as of January 1, 2019.
“We are working on a Government Decision to increase the minimum wage, as of January 1, 2019, to RON 2.050. We’ve already discussed last week with the employers’ associations and the trade unions. They said they want a clear mechanism in order to know what to expect. I told them that, from my point of view, our governing programme is very clear, we enforce it ad literam and they should have known that, as of January, a new increase of the minimum wage will take place,” Vasilescu said.
The Labour Minister added that, counting in EUR is expected soon. “After we complete the current governing cycle, we will count in the European currency. Thus, we started in December 2016 with a minimum wage of EUR 205 and we’ve reached EUR 251,” Vasilescu said.
Since January 1, 2018, 22 out of the 28 Member States of the European Union (EU) have national minimum wages: only Denmark, Italy, Cyprus, Austria, Finland and Sweden do not have any.
According to Eurostat, in January 2018, Bulgaria had the lowest gross minimum wage (EUR 261) across the EU, followed by Lithuania (EUR 400) and Romania (EUR 408).
Seven Member States, all also located in the east of the EU, followed with minimum wages between EUR 400 and around EUR 500 per month: Latvia (EUR 430), Hungary (EUR 445), Croatia (EUR 462), the Czech Republic (EUR 478), Slovakia (EUR 480), Estonia (EUR 500) and Poland (EUR 503).
In five other Member States, located in the south of the EU, minimum wages ranged between EUR 600 and EUR 900 per month: Portugal (EUR 677), Greece (EUR 684), Malta (EUR 748), Slovenia (EUR 843) and Spain (EUR 859).
In the remaining seven Member States, all located in the west and north of the EU, minimum wages were above EUR 1,400 per month: the United Kingdom (EUR 1,401), Germany and France (both EUR 1,498), Belgium (EUR 1,563), the Netherlands (EUR 1,578), Ireland (EUR 1,614) and Luxembourg (EUR 1,999).
For comparison, the federal minimum wage in the United States was EUR 1,048 per month in January 2018.