Cyprus Mail

Dialogue on minimum wage to start December

Social dialogue on the introduction of a minimum wage in Cyprus will start after two studies on the advantages and disadvantages are ready at the end of November, MPs heard on Tuesday.

The government told the House labour committee that it will make its final decisions on the matter after the consultations, which will be based on the studies.

Committee chairman, Akel MP Andreas Fakontis said there were two schools of thought on the matter; on one hand the employers who oppose a minimum wage and the unions who are strongly in favour, but not of a national minimum wage.

Fakontis said a national minimum wage could have negative effects like setting wages at the minimum level and legitimising violation of collective agreements.

“Setting a minimum wage where workers are not covered by collective agreements, as well as putting measures in place to reset the labour market, must be the administration’s priority,” the opposition MP said.

Senior labour ministry official Costas Stavrakis told MPs that the government was looking to introduce a minimum wage when the island achieves full employment conditions – 5 per cent unemployment.

Stavrakis suggested that the minimum wage would depend on the profession.

He said the government was looking to link it with the collective agreements and it would be adjusted periodically.

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