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Czech Republic Has Toughest Minimum Wage

Czech Republic Has Toughest Minimum Wage

Czechs making minimum wage need to work 79 hours per week to stay above poverty level

Czech Republic Has Toughest Minimum Wage

Czech Republic Has Toughest Minimum Wage

Czechs making minimum wage need to work 79 hours per week to stay above poverty level

Published 15.05.2015
Last updated 15.05.2015

According to a new report by the OECD (the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development), workers in the Czech Republic making minimum wage will have to work the most hours of any OECD country to stay above their country’s poverty level.

The OECD is an international economic organization made of 34 countries; of those, 26 have implemented a legal minimum wage (nine countries, including the Czech Republic, have introduced minimum wage requirements since 1990).

The minimum wage in the Czech Republic is currently 55 CZK per hour, or roughly 2 EUR, and 8000 CZK per month (96,000 CZK per year). This isn’t the lowest minimum wage among OECD countries: Hungary, Estonia, Chile, Latvia, and Mexico each have lower minimum wages than the Czech Republic. 

Australia rates the highest minimum wage among OECD countries at 16.87 AUD, or roughly 12 EUR.

The Czech Republic does, however, have the lowest Minimum Wage Levels, defined as the lowest minimum wage relative to a country's average wage, among OECD countries.

Minimum Wage Levels, pre-crisis and 2013:

Source: OECD
Source: OECD

Based on percentage of the median wage, Czech Republic ranks slightly behind Mexico, the United States, Estonia, and Japan. Among those countries, the Czech Republic is the only one that has seen a decrease in minimum wage levels since 2007.

Factoring in social benefits for low-income families, the Czech Republic also has the lowest minimum wage relative to the country’s poverty level, measured at 50% of the median net household income. By a large margin.

Weekly working hours needed at minimum wage to move above the poverty line:

Source: OECD
Source: OECD

A single parent with two children will have to work 79 hours per week to stay above the poverty level in the Czech Republic. That’s roughly 20 more hours than next-lowest countries Estonia, Korea, Greece, and Spain.

Australia and Ireland rate highest here: a single parent with two children will need to work less than 10 hours per week to stay above their country’s poverty line. 

You can see the OECD’s full report in PDF at this link.

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Steve(Guest) Published: 05:16:50 19.05.2015
Mr. Green, I guess you must have a lot of experience with a relationship counsellor. Please enlighten me, what qualifications do I need for the position, any tips your have would be appreciated.
Comment from: niklas828 Published: 12:20:25 18.05.2015
... What about Sweden? The minimum wage in Sweden is 0 SEK. "In Sweden, unlike most countries, no statutory minimum wage, but these are established by collective agreements between the social partners, ie employers and trade unions, without direct government involvement" Translated from:
Comment from: Mike.Green Published: 09:19:44 18.05.2015
You'll find the jobs section on another page of this site, Steve. I'm sure I saw a position of relationship councillor there.
Steve(Guest) Published: 06:53:36 17.05.2015
well Mr. Green maybe you could share how fortunate lifestyle with your wife.
Comment from: Mike.Green Published: 01:31:07 17.05.2015
Well, there is a of course a balance to be found. What I see in many countries is they have protected their employees so well, with minimum wages and social benefits galore, that nobody wants to employ people at all. One of the reasons I am here is because my Wife's company upped sticks and left Belgium, too many costs and taxes and a wage bill though the roof. And if you can be bothered to find the statistics for economically active for Belgium, that is the true horror. The unemployment figures in that country are very high, but that is only the tip of the iceberg. Retiring the population at 50 does not make them any less unemployed, just gives unemployment a different name. Personally I would quite like a job at any wage, but then I am fortunate enough to not need the money.
Comment from: Kyle.Nunyabiznazz Published: 11:28:28 17.05.2015
@Mike.Green yeah they can smirk at the French while they eat their 1kc rohlik for the fifth time that week that they bought with their food stamps. Also don't ever take a sick day here because you're employer can dock your pay for the first three days from your peanut salary. It's much better to go to work and make all your colleagues sick so everyone can be miserable together. Czech Republic is the definition of tripping over euros to pick up cents. Even conservative Switzerland understands you have to provide a livable wage to the people on the bottom.
Comment from: Mike.Green Published: 03:15:30 16.05.2015
I think the Czechs might take comfort in watching countries like France implode with their minimum pay and maximum working weeks.
Bob (Guest) Published: 05:53:59 15.05.2015
Consider many western expats here in their 30's and even 40's working for peanuts.....even 75,000Kc a month many expats are being screwed, just because they can say they earn 3 times the average salary. The worst is going to Starbucks and seeing guys well in their 30's giving English lessons, makes you wonder.