Monthly minimum wage to rise by CZK 1,000 next year

The outgoing Czech cabinet has confirmed a rise in the legal minimum wage starting in January 2022.

ČTK

Written by ČTK Published on 05.11.2021 14:57 (updated on 05.11.2021) Reading time: 1 minute

Prague, Nov 5 (CTK) - The monthly minimum wage will rise in the Czech Republic by CZK 1,000 to CZK 16,200 as of January, the cabinet decided today.

According to the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs, about 139,000 people currently earn the minimum wage in the Czech Republic. The ministry originally proposed an increase by CZK 2,800, to CZK 18,000. Although popular with trade unions, this proposal was not supported by employers, who wanted an increase of only CZK 500.

The Tripartite body of representatives of the cabinet, unions and employers, whose task is to help maintain social harmony, discussed the issue repeatedly in recent weeks.

"People who work and try hard should earn a wage to support themselves. I am disappointed with the fact that our minimum wage will still be CZK 400 lower than the minimum wage in Poland," outgoing Labor and Social Affairs Minister Jana Maláčová (CSSD) told ČTK.

Maláčová said her party, junior partners in the current government, had pushed for an increase in the minimum wage to CZK 18,000 crowns. But Finance Minister Alena Schillerová (ANO) described such an increase as unrealistic. Before the October 8-9 general election, Prime Minister Andrej Babiš (ANO) said he would see an increase by 1,300 crowns as a realistic compromise.

The three variants then proposed, of CZK 500, 1300 and 2,800, did not include the possibility of the CZK 1,000 increase that was finally approved by the cabinet today.

Unions had argued that the minimum wage in the Czech Republic is currently below the income poverty threshold and lower than in the neighboring countries such as Slovakia and Poland.

Employers meanwhile argued that firms are recovering from the Covid crisis and that a steep increase in the minimum wage would cause difficulties, especially for small businesses.

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