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Korecky, Miroslav

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Mladá fronta dnes - Czech Republic | 16/09/2014

Prague's costly minimum wage deal

The Czech government gave the green light for a good eight percent raise in the minimum wage on Monday. Finance Minister Andrej Babiš approved the raise in exchange for the Social Democrats accepting Věra Jourová of his Ano movement as EU commissioner. This political back-scratching may prove costly, the liberal daily Mladá fronta Dnes warns: "Three percent of the working population receive the minimum wage, that's 120,000 people. For all of them businesses will now have to top up their wages. Wage costs make up the bulk of the costs at many firms. Any increase in the minimum wage, and particularly such a hefty one as this, may force companies to dismiss workers. The majority of the low-wage employees are already concentrated in branches with high unemployment rates. And even with the current minimum wage these levels haven't improved despite the gradual recovery. ... When it comes to minimum wages you have to balance things very carefully. If it is increased at all, then it should be very cautiously rather than in leaps."

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