Prague, Czech Republic – The Czech government has agreed to increase the monthly minimum wage to 15,200 Kc as of January 2021, Minister of Labour and Social Affairs Jana Malacova (CSSD) told the Czech News Agency.
This marks 600 Kc rise compared to the current minimum wage of 14,600 Kc – much lower than last year’s increase of 1,250 Kc.
According to Malacova, the Social-Democrats were in favour of a stronger increase for 2021, but were turned down during the tripartite negotiations between the government, labour unions and employers, the latter arguing that a higher minimum wage would only add some pressure on many Czech small and medium companies already badly hit by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Government figures indicate that around 140,000 people received the minimum wage last year.
Josef Stredula, chairman of the Czech-Moravian Confederation of Trade Union, slammed the hike as grossly insufficient, accusing the ruling ANO party of Prime Minister Andrej Babis of punishing Czech employees.
He added that despite having a lower GDP than the Czech Republic, neighbouring Slovakia and Poland had both introduced higher minimum wages for their low-income workers.
In September, the Slovak government agreed to increase the gross minimum wage to more than 620€ per month after implementing a record hike the previous year.
According to Eurostat data (see graph above), the Czech Republic had the sixth lowest minimum wage in the European Union (notwithstanding EU member states who don’t have any minimum wage), and the second lowest among Visegrad Group countries this year, Hungary coming last.