As January 1, 2023 rolls around, Cyprus will for the first time be implementing a minimum wage. Set at €940 per month, the measure is expected to impact some 40,000 workers.

For the first six months of employment the wage will be at least €885 – later rising to the minimum threshold of €940.

Those working in agriculture, shipping and domestic workers are exempted from the minimum wage requirements, as are interns or individuals undertaking training for a degree or professional qualifications.

The wage will be re-evaluated on January 1, 2024 and after that every two years. A labour advisory council will be set up to examine the minimum wage, comprised of nine members. Three will be from unions, three representing employers and three experts or academics on labour relations.

The advisory body will advise the labour minister who will submit a report to Cabinet for any amendments to the minimum wage.

Criteria the body will be examining include the purchasing power of the minimum wage, the employment and unemployment levels, overall wages and their distribution as well as poverty indicators and the impact of changing the minimum wage.

If an employer offers food and accommodation, an agreement can be reached to deduct 15 per cent for food and 10 per cent for housing. The employee can give an employer a 45-day notice if they do not wish to have this agreement.

Seasonal workers – classed as those who work for a maximum of two months – and are not over the age of 18, can have 25 per cent cut from the minimum wage.

The agreement had been praised as a “historic agreement” though unions have raised concerns the wage is nowhere near enough to tackle inflation and increasing prices. They have also said there is not enough clarity in the rules leaving a window where employers can exploit workers, particularly in the hours worked.