European Parliament wants better minimum wage scheme in the EU countries

EP Plenary session - Adequate minimum wages in the European Union

In all EU countries there should be a minimum wage that is enough to cover the cost of living and lead to decent living standards. This is what the European Parliament advocates after negotiations with the EU member states. MEP Agnes Jongerius (PvdA) wants action to be taken quickly because of the ever-rising prices.

The European Parliament on Wednesday passed special legislation to ensure an adequate minimum wage. The EU countries will continue to determine the level of the minimum wage themselves, but from now on they must guarantee that this wage sufficiently supports their citizens.

The new directive applies to all EU employees who have an employment contract or an employment relationship. Countries where the minimum wage is already protected by collective agreements (such as the Netherlands) are not obliged to apply the new agreements everywhere.

The passed law also stipulates that countries with few collective agreements and weak trade unions must draw up an action plan to increase collective wage agreements, together with the social partners. They must also set up an enforcement system to address abuse of subcontracting, bogus self-employment, unrecorded overtime or increased workload.

MEP Agnes Jongerius (PvdA) was EU rapporteur on this minimum wage. Partly because of her, the new law came about. She believes it is important that follow-up steps are taken quickly.

'The prices of groceries, energy bills and housing are exploding,' says Jongerius. “People really struggle to make ends meet. We don't have a second to lose, because work has to pay again.'