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Czech Republic fails to agree on 2020 minimum wage increase

Prague, Czech Republic – The negotiations between the government, trade unions and employers have failed to reach a consensus on next year’s minimum wage hike, Labour Minister Jana Maláčová (ANO) announced earlier this week.

While trade unions have been lobbying for an increase of 1,650 Kc in 2020, which would bring it to 15,000 Kc (around €585) per month for full-time workers, employers and businesses have set the maximum bar at a 700-Kc hike.

Finance Minister Alena Schillerova (ANO) warned that a too significant increase could deal a major blow to the Czech Republic’s attractiveness, particularly as the country’s economic growth has started to slow down.

After the talks fell short of an agreement, Minister of Labour Jana Maláčová said she’ll hand over the topic to Prime Minister Andrej Babis who should, along with ANO’s government coalition partners, agree on the 2020 minimum wage increase by the end of the month.

The Czech Premier, who declared he was in favour of the “highest possible” increase before leaving to an official trip to Ukraine, said he would discuss the issue with other government representatives next Wednesday.

According to the Czech News Agency, the Labour Ministry has prepared plans for three different scenarios: an increase of 1,150 Kc, 1,350 Kc or 1,650 Kc. Jan Rafaj, vice-head of the Czech Confederation of Industry, reacted angrily, saying that these proposals didn’t take their plan into account and that none of these amounts is justified.

Along with its Central European neighbours, like Poland and Hungary, the Czech Republic has regularly increased the minimum wage, boosting it by 1,150 Kc last year to bring it to its current level of 13,350 Kc (around €530).

Last month, Slovakia approved a historic minimum wage hike of more than 11% – the highest in the past 17 years – to bring it to €580 gross per month as of January.

Headed by Kafkadesk's chief-editor Jules Eisenchteter, our Prague office gathers over half a dozen reporters, editors and contributors, as well as our social media team. It covers everything Czech and Slovak-related, and oversees operations from our other Central European desks in Krakow and Budapest.

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