The Commission proposed on October 28, 2020 an EU Directive to ensure that the workers in the EU are protected by adequate minimum wages allowing for a decent living wherever they work (ec.europa.eu).

“Almost 10% of workers in the EU are living in poverty: this has to change. People who have a job should not be struggling to make ends meet (Nicolas Schmit, Commissioner for Jobs and Social Rights, ec.europa.eu)." See also The resolution by the EU Parliament Employment and social policies of the euro area and the study In-work poverty in Europe: a study of national policies.

Countries with high collective bargaining coverage tend to have a lower share of low-wage workers, lower wage inequality and higher minimum wages. Therefore, the Commission proposal aims at promoting collective bargaining on wages in all Member States (ec.europa.eu).

  • The Directive requires member states to take action to promote collective bargaining, and have national action plans to increase coverage if less than 70% of workers are covered by a collective agreement.
  • The directive recommends (but does not do it compulsory for the member states) to consider adequate the minimum wage surpassing the threshold of 60% of the median wage and 50% of the average wage. Read more about that threshold in the magazine Social Europe.

Read also about the amendments proposed by the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) on etuc.org.

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