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A comparison of minimum wages between European countries

Did you know that not every EU country has a statutory minimum wage?

In the Netherlands, every employee from the age of 15 is entitled to at least the statutory minimum (youth) wage.

How about other EU countries?

In most neighbouring countries, including Belgium, Germany, France and the United Kingdom, the minimum wage has also been laid down by law. In some countries, including Italy, the minimum wage is not prescribed by law, but exclusively determined by the employers’ and employees’ organisations.

Another difference is the amount of the minimum wage within the EU. According to the European statistics agency Eurostat, the highest minimum wage (in 2020, this was € 2,142 in Luxembourg) is almost seven times as high as the lowest minimum wage (€ 312 in Bulgaria). The large differences can partly be explained by the different costs of living in the countries in question. When this difference is taken into account, the highest minimum wage is“only” 2.5 times higher than the lowest, according to Eurostat.

Below, you will find an overview of where you can find more information about the minimum wage in:

What you need to remember about the minimum wage

In most countries, on top of the statutory minimum wage, collective labor agreements may apply with regard to the wage and the other employee & salary benefits that employees in a specific industry are entitled to. For example, many Belgian companies are required to pay their employees a so-called 13th month bonus, and many German employees are entitled to Weihnachtsgeld (a Christmas allowance).

We recommend that you seek advice about such regulations to prevent being confronted with subsequent payments and fines later on.

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Since 1972, Interfisc has offered international HR & Payroll solutions in the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, France, the United Kingdom, and Italy. We do this from our offices in the Netherlands and Belgium, and with an international team of around 45 committed and caring employees. 

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