How high is the minimum wage going to be?

Between 300,000 and 350,000 workers in Serbia are on the minimum wage which currently amounts to 22,260 dinars – the State Statistical Office estimates. Many unregistered workers are receiving even less than that.

The Serbian government has announced that it would increase the minimum wage as of autumn. “It is possible that we are going to decide on a possible increase of minimum wage providing all relevant stakeholders in the society agree, and if the increase is justified because of the parameters that determine the minimum wage have gone up”, Zoran Lazic from the Ministry of Labour, Employment and Social Policy says.

Apart from the minimum wage, workers are entitled to the food allowance, reimbursement of transportation costs and vacation allowance. If we add all of this (which amounts to several thousand dinars more) to the minimum wage, we would see that most supermarket chains, for instance, are paying minimum wage or just slightly above it.  Also, supermarket employees have to work during state holidays.

Although employers agree that some companies are misusing their employees in this way, they also complain that the amount of tax and contributions they have to pay per employee is the highest in Europe (67%). Unlike in Europe, minimum wage is also taxed in Serbia.

“It is absurd that we have to pay taxes on food allowance, for instance”, says Boban Atanackovic, the President of the Employers Union of Serbia.

“Minimum wage needs to correspond to the consumer basket, i.e. it has to be worth as much as the consumer basket which currently is somewhere in the region of 35,000 dinars”, explains Ljubisav Orbovic, the President of the Federation of the Independent Trade Unions of Serbia.

In mid-September we will find out the new minimum wage in Serbia, and the predictions are that it will be increased from the current 130 dinars per hour to 140 dinars.

(RTS, 09.05.2017)



This post is also available in: Italiano

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