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New talks due with employers on minimum wage

Κυβερνητικός Εκπρόσωπος – Δηλώσει
Labour Minister Kyriacos Koushos

Labour Minister Kyriakos Koushos held new talks with employers’ organisations on Friday as he seeks to bridge differences between social partners ahead of the introduction of a national minimum wage.

After last week’s talks at the ministry with trade unions and employers ended without a breakthrough, Koushos said that he would continue consultations.

He hopes to submit a proposal to President Nicos Anastasiades and cabinet before the end of August, after which a decree will be issued signed by the labour minister.

Reports suggest there is disagreement between the two sides about the implementation process, with employers reportedly asking for certain exceptions for new hires.

Another thorn is how much the minimum wage should be. Unions and employers’ organisations disagree over the method of determining a median salary, on which the minimum salary would be based.

The median wage calculated by the Cyprus Statistical Service is lower than that calculated by EU-SILC which the unions want the minimum wage to be based on. Employers’ organisations want the former.

In statements to the media on Friday, Koushos said that he was trying to bridge the differences dividing the approach of employers and trade unions so that the national minimum wage can be introduced with the least possible disagreements.

He said his discussions with the leadership of the Employers and Industrialists Federation and the Cyprus Chamber of Commerce and Industry were very productive and would continue on Tuesday.

Koushos will meet trade unions on August 9 and depending on developments will decide whether to call a joint meeting or to continue with separate consultations.

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