Cyprus Mail

Minimum national wage could be decided as of May

Labour Minister Zeta Emilianidou

A final decision on introducing a minimum national wage will be made in May, Labour Minister Zeta Emilianidou said on Tuesday.

She was speaking after a session of the Labour Advisory Board – an advisory body bringing together employers organisations and trade unions.

During the session, Emilianidou presented participants a draft plan for the minimum national wage, as well as a draft bill that will regulate remote work.

“The decision to regulate a minimum national wage is definitive, and is expected to be announced soon,” the minister said.

That decision would come in May, following the next meeting of the Labour Advisory Board.

“We believe it will be a major reform which, I have to say, is also a commitment made by President Nicos Anastasiades,” Emilianidou told media.

Cyprus is one of the few EU member states without a minimum national wage, although some professions are covered.

For his part, head of the SEK trade union Andreas Matsas said that a number for the national minimum wage should be fixed by the next session Labour Advisory Board, scheduled for early May.

From the debate held on Tuesday, he added. it transpires that the implementation of the minimum wage “will not act in competition to the regulations deriving from collective bargaining agreements.”

Head of the left-leaning PEO union Sotiroula Charalambous said a mechanism should be instituted ensuring the minimum wage is adjusted from time to time to take inflation into account.

And head of labour relations at the Chamber of Commerce and Industry Emilios Michael told the Stockwatch news outlet that the minimum wage would be based on a formula used by Eurostat for the mean and median income.

The official announcement for the wage would be followed by a six-month adjustment period.

Whereas the Chamber of Commerce and Industry do not disagree with a minimum national salary, Michael said, they seek certain clarifications from the labour minister.

The Federation of Employers and Industrialists have expressed misgivings about the issue, asking that it be put on the backburner until the economic situation normalises.

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