Minimum Wages in European Countries

Many countries in Europe operate statutory or collectively determined minimum wage rates. In all but a handful of countries, these rates provide a standard of living that is close to (or even below) subsistence levels. Denmark, Finland, Italy and Sweden do not operate national minimum rates, but nevertheless have minimum rates set through sectoral collective agreements that jointly cover a high proportion of the working population. Germany operates statutory minimum rates in a number of sectors.

The International Labour Organisation establishes minimum rates for able seamen. From January 1st 2012 the minimum monthly wage for seafarers is 555 US dollars, rising to 568 US dollars on January 1st 2013 and to 585 US dollars on December 31st 2013. Consolidated monthly wages, including overtime and annual paid leave, are 975 US dollars and will rise to 998 US dollars and 1,028 US dollars respectively.

Monthly gross statutory minimum wage rates:

Full-time adult employees, aged 23+ [1]

Country Minimum wage rate Currency code Date effective
Albania 20,000 lek ALL 01.07.2011
Andorra 929.07 euros EUR 01.01.2011
Austria [2] 1,000.00 euros EUR 01.01.2009
Belarus 743,020 Belarusian roubles BYR 01.05.2012
Belgium 1,498.87 euros EUR 01.05.2011
Bulgaria 290 leva BGN 01.05.2012
Croatia [8] 2814.00 kunas HRK 01.06.2009
Cyprus [7] 909.00 euros EUR 01.04.2011
Czech Republic [12] 8,000 koruny CZK 01.01.2007
Estonia 290.00 euro EUR 01.01.2012
France [6] 1,398.37 euros EUR 01.01.2012
Greece [5] [9] 585.78 euros EUR 01.03.2012
Guernsey 1066.00 pounds IMP 01.10.2011
Hungary [10] 92,000 forints HUF 01.01.2012
Iceland [13] 193,000 kronur ISK 01.02.2012
Ireland 1499.33 euros EUR 01.07.2011
Isle of Man 1,074.67 IOM pounds IMP 01.10.2011
Jersey (Channel Islands) 1105.87 Jersey pounds IMP 01.04.2012
Kosovo 170.00 euros EUR 30.04.2011
Latvia [16] 200 lats LVL 01.01.2011
Lithuania 800 litai LTL 01.01.2008
Luxembourg [3] 1,801.49 euros EUR 01.01.2011
Macedonia 130.00 euros EUR 2011
Malta [11] 685.14 euros EUR 01.01.2012
Moldova 1100.00 lei MDL 01.02.2010
Montenegro 240.00 euros[17] EUR 01.06.2011
Netherlands 1,446.60 euros EUR 01.01.2012
Poland 1,500 zlotys PLN 01.01.2012
Portugal [5] 485 euros EUR 01.01.2011
Romania [4] 700.00 Ron RON 01.01.2012
Russian Federation 4,611 roubles RUB 01.06.2011
Serbia 17,680.00 new dinars RSD 01.06.2011
Slovakia 327.00 euros EUR 01.01.2012
Slovenia [14] 748.10 net euros[18] EUR 01.03.2011
Spain [5] [16] 641.50 euros EUR 01.01.2011
Turkey [15] 701.10 Turkish lira (net) TRY 01.01.2012
Ukraine 985.00 hryvnias UAH 01.09.2011
United Kingdom 1053.00 pounds sterling IMP 01.10.2011
[1] Where official rates are expressed by the hour or week, they have been converted to monthly rates on the basis of a 40-hour week and 52-week year. Minimum wage figures are gross (pre-tax) rates and exclude any 13th or 14th month payments that may be due under national legislation, collective agreements, custom or practice.
[2] Austria: applies to certain industry sectors. Applicable to all sectors from 01.01.2009. Employees are entitled to 14 monthly payments each year.
[3] Luxembourg: unskilled workers only.
[4] Romania: based on 170 hours per month.
[5] Greece, Portugal, Spain: white-collar workers only. Workers normally entitled to 14 monthly payments per year.
[6] France: based on statutory 35-hour week.
[7] Cyprus: applicable to certain groups in non-unionised sectors after 6 months’ employment.
[8] Croatia: Minimum Wage Act . Art 4 para 3/4.
[9] Greece: Different rates apply to blue and white collar workers and vary by length of service and marital status. Private sector workers only. The minimum wage was cut by 22% from 751 euros pcm due to austerity laws. The minimum wage for those under 25 has been cut by 32%.
[10] Hungary: the minimum wage is 20% higher than the basic national minimum for those with secondary or vocational education but under two years’ experience, and 25% higher for those with at least two years’ experience or older than 50 years of age. Employees with university-level education are entitled to a minimum wage that is 60% higher than the basic national minimum.
[11] Malta: Higher wage rates are set by order in the following sectors: agriculture, beverages, domestic work, clay and glass work products, food manufacturing, hire cars and private buses, hospitals and buses, jewellery and watches, leather goods and shoes, papers, plastic, chemicals and petroleum, private security services, professional offices, public transport, sextons and custodians, textiles, tobacco manufacture, transport equipment, metal, woodworks and private cleaning services.
[12] Czech Republic: Rates may not include travel allowances, on-call payments and severance compensation.
[13] Iceland: The minimum pay level is established through a national collective agreement.
[14] Slovenia: From 2010 the minimum wage is set in terms of normal net take home pay.
[15] Rate net of tax and social charges for those aged 16 and over.
[16] Rate frozen for 2012.
[17] Advisory rate.
[18] All companies required to pay rate wf 01.01.2012

Source: FedEE Review of minimum wage rates, 19.06.2012

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