Malta believes that adequate minimum wages should remain a matter of national competence

Last Updated on Saturday, 5 December, 2020 at 4:39 pm by Andre Camilleri

While addressing an informal videoconference of Employment and Social Affairs Ministers in the European Union, hosted by the Party of European Socialists (PES), Minister within the Office of the Prime Minister Carmelo Abela stated that, whilst Malta believes that adequate minimum wages across Europe are important, the competence for the setting of adequate minimum wages should remain with EU member states, ensuring that member states have the necessary latitude to implement it according to their national realities.

In the context of a proposal by the European Commission for a directive that ensures adequate minimum wages for workers across member states, Minister Abela stated the need for mindfulness of the already existing minimum wages. 

Whilst commending the Commission’s efforts into this subject as it mirrors Malta’s belief that all workers should be provided with a decent wage, Minister Abela stated Malta’s position for a national regulated minimum wage, which takes into account the national labour market specificities in accordance with the national mechanism.

Whilst the proposed directive is a step closer to introducing mandatory mechanisms that lead to more dynamic minimum wages, Minister Abela expressed concern that the directive offers limited safeguards for member states in cases of economic shock and does so without providing considerations for national practises that may be utilised.

During his intervention, Minister Abela expressed his belief in the role of social dialogue and the strengthening of collective bargaining across Europe.

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