Coalition agrees fresh rise in minimum wage

Photo: Ladislav Bába / Czech Radio

From next year, Czechs will earn at least CZK 14,600 a month thanks to an increase in the country’s minimum wage. Representatives of government parties ANO and the Social Democrats agreed on the change this week.

Photo: Ladislav Bába / Czech Radio
From January the minimum monthly salary will climb by CZK 1,250 under a deal that is yet to be rubberstamped by the government.

Prime Minister Andrej Babiš said on Wednesday that sufficient funding had been found to cover the increase.

The last time the minimum wage went up was in January of this year, when the amount was set at CZK 13,350.

Prior to the increase announced on Wednesday union leaders had been lobbying for a jump of CZK 1,640. By contrast employers were pushing for a smaller rise of CZK 700.

Prior to the deal being reached the minister of finance, ANO appointee Alena Schillerová, said that the minimum wage should keep step with general wage growth. For that reason she favoured a smaller increase than the one that should actually come into effect.

For his part the leader of the Social Democrats, Jan Hamáček, said the minimum wage should continue to grow in the coming years. Otherwise the Czech Republic would become a country of cheap labour, he said.

Along with the minimum wage, the guaranteed wage, which represents the lowest earnings according to the expertise and difficulty pertaining to a profession, is also set to go up.

The guaranteed wage has eight different levels and from January should increase from a current range of CZK 13,350 to CZK 26,700 to a new one of CZK 14,600 to CZK 29,200.

The text of the government decree on minimum wage growth will be prepared by the Ministry of Labour before being presented to the front bench for approval. The cabinet’s next meeting is scheduled for December 9.

Under the previous full government headed by Bohuslav Sobotka of the Social Democrats such decisions were typically taken earlier in the year, in August or September.

According to the Czech Statistics Office the average monthly wage in the Czech Republic stood at CZK 34,105 in the second quarter of this year.