Minister of Economic Affairs and Infrastructure Kadri Simson (Center) is calling on employers to reach an agreement with unions and agree to raise the minimum wage.
"The minimum wage has been increasing stably in recent years, reaching €470 by this year," Simson was quoted by spokespeople as saying. "Unfortunately, I have heard rumors that as the tax-exempt minimum income is to be raised to €500 at the beginning of next year, employers have decided that the minimum wage should not be raised next year. I am strongly against such ideas and invite employers to cooperate with unions and raise the minimum income."
According to Simson, it is important that the effects of raising the tax-free minimum income will reach employees and not remain an excuse for employers to forgo raising employees' salaries. The increase in employees' income should return to the economy through the increase in domestic consumption, she added.
The Estonian Trade Union Confederation (EAKL) and the Estonian Employers' Confederation launched talks at the beginning of August to reach an agreement regarding the next two years' minimum wage rates, but thus far the talks have not produced results and so will continue in September.
Unions have proposed that Estonia's minimum wage should reach half of Estonia's average salary and €620 per month in three years.
In recent years EAKL and the Employers' Confederation have agreed on the minimum income rate for the following two years. In 2017, the minimum hourly wage is €2.78 and the minimum monthly salary of a full-time worker who works 40 hours per week is €470.
Editor: Aili Vahtla