Agreement on minimum wage, overtime and end of career measures

After around 15 hours of talks the employers’ federations and the trade unions reached an agreement on increasing the minimum wage, greater flexibility when it comes to overtime and measures for people nearing the end of their working life. The unions and employers’ federations will put the agreement before their members and if approved and there is no objection from the government the measures will become law. 

The agreement reached by the so-called “Group of Ten” contains measures that if implemented will see the minimum wage increase to just over 1,700 euro per month gross. This is an increase of 75 euro/month gross. The unions hope that those on the minimum wage will keep around 90% of the increase in their gross earnings as take-home pay.

The unions and employers say that their aim is to increase the minimum wage by a further 50 euro/month net in 2024 and 2026. However, this is conditional of the government taking fiscal measures to ensure that labour costs don’t rise too significantly for the employers. A further rise will also come in 2028 if the effect of the previous increases is deemed to have been favourable.

Important for the employers is the agreement on greater flexibility with regard to overtime. During the coronavirus crisis the government has taken measures to make overtime easier and more affordable for employers in essential sectors such as transport and food. These measures will now be extended to all branches of the economy. Between now at the end of 2022 up to 120 hours of overtime will be able to be worked under a fiscal regime that is beneficial to both employers and employees. 

Early retirement from 60

Agreement was also reached on measures relating to those nearing to end of their working life. The option of offering early retirement to employees that are 60 or over will remain for companies that are in difficulty or are restructuring. In other cases, a person must be 62 or older or have worked for at least 42 years. 

In effect what has been agreed amount to an extension for another 2 years of the measures that are currently in place.

What is new are the measures to keep people in the workplace for longer by offering scope for them to work less thanks to what is known as “time credit”.


Top stories