The Slovenia Times

Employers, Minister for Dialogue on Minimum Wage


Speaking at an event on potential minimum wage changes organised by the Employers' Association on Tuesday, Kopač Mrak said the biggest problem were high income taxes.

Employers' Association head Milan Lukić echoed the minister's position, saying that net pay was not a problem, it was the gross pay.

The labour, family, social affairs and equal opportunities minister announced that the government would draw up a comprehensive tax reform this year to change this. The changes would take effect in 2016.

She said that the Labour Ministry conducted an analysis of minimum pay in 12 countries, finding that Slovenia was one of very few states where the minimum wage is defined so as to include almost all rates and bonuses (including for irregular schedules, special work conditions, tenure and effectiveness).

The inclusion of rates and bonuses in the minimum wage is also the main issue for the trade unions, which announced changes under which the EUR 790 gross minimum pay would no longer include the extra rates.

To get the changes into parliament, the trade unions need to collect 5,000 signatures in support, which is not likely to be a problem.

The employers on the other hand warn against passing the changes without including them in the process and finding a compromise.

Lukić said that the last time this happened - in 2010, when the current rules were adopted - the changes led to the loss of 17,000 jobs.

He added that the changes were also the reason Slovenia has an "incredibly large share of those who get minimum pay and a large share of people whose salary is only slightly above minimum pay".

Director of Boxmark Leather Marjan Trobiš said any changes needed to focus on the net wage, as employers cannot take the extra burden. He proposed additional tax breaks.

Boštjan Tancer, director of security services provider Varnost Maribor, noted that the 2020 hike in the minimum wage in effect destroyed pay policy in this labour intensive sector.

Before the wage increase 3% of the employees received minimum wage, now 60-65% do, he noted.

"All employers want our workers to make a decent living wage. We want to give more, but the government must do its homework first and reduce the tax wedge," added Bogdan Božac, the director of prefab house maker Marles hiše.


More from Nekategorizirano