Last Updated on Monday, 8 February, 2021 at 9:03 am by Andre Camilleri
Malta’s minimum wage (€785 a month) ranked in the middle when compared to other EU countries, Eurostat said.
As of 1 January 2021, 21 out of the 27 Member States of the EU have national minimum wages.
In January 2021, ten Member States, located in the east of the EU, had minimum wages below €700 per month: Bulgaria (€332), Hungary (€442), Romania (€458), Latvia (€500), Croatia (€563), Czechia (€579), Estonia (€584), Poland (€614), Slovakia (€623) and Lithuania (€642).
On the other hand, minimum wages were above €1 500 per month in these countries: France (€1 555), Germany (€1 614), Belgium (€1 626), the Netherlands (€1 685), Ireland (€1 724) and Luxembourg (€2 202).
The disparities in minimum wages across the EU Member States are considerably smaller once price level differences are taken into account. When one looks at the purchasing power standard (PPS), minimum wages in Member States with lower price levels become relatively higher and relatively lower in Member States with higher price levels.
By eliminating price differences, minimum wages ranged from 623 PPS per month in Bulgaria to 1 668 PPS in Luxembourg, meaning that the highest minimum wage was 2.7 times higher than the lowest.
Minimum wages may also be measured in relative terms, i.e. as proportion of the median earnings. Here, Eurostat used 2018 data. France (66%), Portugal (64%), Slovenia (62%) and Romania (61%) were the countries with the least differences of minimum wage when compared to the median wage. By contrast, minimum wages were less than half of the median earnings in six Member States: Croatia, Czechia and Latvia (all 49%), Spain (44%), Malta (43%) and Estonia (42%). This data refers to the gross monthly earnings covering wages and salaries earned by full-time and part-time (in full-time equivalent) employees in the reference month (October 2018 in most countries). They exclude overtime pay and other extra payments and are calculated before any tax and social security contributions are deducted.