Companies from the industrial sector are not satisfied with the announced increase of the minimum wage in 2022 to 35,000 dinars and say that this will be a financial blow due to low revenues during the pandemic.
At the same, time they claim that social dialogue is a formality because “in the end, the minimum wage is decided by the President of Serbia, Aleksandar Vučić”.
The director of the Union of Employers of Serbia, Srdjan Drobnjaković, told the Beta news agency that the increase will be a big cost and a blow to employers’ earnings, and that small and medium-sized enterprises will be particularly affected, adding that negotiations between trade unions, employers and the state will not be necessary because, last year, it was President Vučić who determined the minimum wage.
“Why negotiate about the amount of the minimum monthly wage for next year, when Vučić said it will be 35,000 dinars? Where is social dialogue in this?” Drobnjaković asked.
Negotiations on the minimum wage for 2022 between employers, trade unions and the state are expected to begin in the first half of August this year, to determine the final amount by 15 September. The regulation stipulates that, in case of negotiation parties failed to agree, the amount of the minimum wage will be determined by the government, just like last year.
Last year, the President of Serbia had “calculated” in advance how much the increase would be, and that is what happened. He did the same recently, announcing an increase for next year, from 32,000 to about 35,000 dinars.
Drobnjakovic said employers will fight for an increase of the non-taxable wage base and that during the pandemic, hardly anyone increased their turnover that would provide enough money for higher minimum wages next year.
He also underlined that the state, providing it really wants to improve the position of workers, should abolish the tax on the entire minimum wage instead of a part of it. He said it does not mean much to employers that in 2022, the non-taxable base will be increased from 18,300 dinars to, as Vučić said, 19,300 dinars.
“If we have to determine the minimum wage in this way, the state should abolish payroll tax and contributions on the entire minimum wage and then everyone would be satisfied,” Drobnjaković said. He added that the best thing to do would be to introduce a progressive rather than a proportional tax system, so that those who earn more are taxed more.
This post is also available in: Italiano