Portugal remains one of the lowest paid countries in Europe

06 Nov 2019 08:35 PM552

According to a study conducted by the Office of Strategy and Planning of the Ministry of Labor, recently presented, Portugal ranks 12th among 22 countries that updated the minimum wage in 2019.


Of the twenty-eight Member States of the European Union, twenty-two updated the minimum wage in 2019 by legislative means or by intersectoral agreement. According to the table with nominal values adjusted to monthly values (12 months) and taking into account the various rules in the Member States, Luxembourg is at the top, with a minimum wage of 2,071.10 euros per month, that is, more than triple the Portuguese. Portugal, whose value adjusted to 12 months is EUR 600, is still below Spain (EUR 1,050), Slovenia (EUR 886.6), Malta (EUR 762) and Greece (EUR 758.3).


According to the study, Portugal is "among the countries with the lowest minimum wage of both the EU and the Euro Area" and "the recent increases in the minimum wage in Portugal do not change its relative position" in the European ranking. In the last four years, the minimum wage has increased from 505 euros to 530 euros in 2016, then to 557 euros from 2017 and 580 euros in 2018, reaching 600 euros in January this year. The actual appreciation (discounting inflation) was 14% and the nominal value of almost 19% in this period.


Meanwhile, The Prime Minister, António Costa, has already said that he wants to increase it to 750 euros by the end of the legislature. The Government has not yet disclosed, however, what will prevail next year.


"Still, we are all aware that we are short of what is necessary for labour to be valued fairly, so in this parliament we must aspire to have a greater increase in the minimum salary," he said. "To that end, the national minimum wage will evolve each year, once the social partners have been consulted, due to the dynamics of employment and economic growth, but the government aims to reach €750 in 2023."


If that target is met, according to the prime minister, in both parliaments taken together the minimum salary will have risen by around 50 percent from the original €505. The Minister of Labor, Solidarity and Social Security, Ana Mendes Godinho, is expected to present a proposal to update the minimum remuneration for 2020 to trade union and employers' structures, and the Government set the target of reaching 750 euros in 2023. Thus, the Government called on the social partners to a formal meeting of social consultation today, November 6th, to discuss the minimum wage that comes into force in two months, in January 2020.

By: Ricardo Cunha Filho Photo: JT /flickr/environmentblog