According to the European Commission, the European minimum wage in each member state should be 50 percent of the average wage, which would require a 30 percent increase in the minimum wage in Hungary (167,400 forints in 2021), the Hungarian Trade Union Confederation (MASZSZ) claims. The Hungarian minimum wage is one of the lowest in the EU.
Last October, the European Commission submitted a proposal regarding the principles of a standardized European minimum wage system, as well as the strengthening of collective bargaining and the role of trade unions, in order to protect workers in the member states with an income network that guarantees a decent living wherever they work. MASZSZ has supported this principle from the very beginning and continues to call for its introduction in Hungary as soon as possible.
President of MASZSZ László Kordás pointed out that: the Commission’s proposal also sets the criteria for the appropriate minimum wage for all member states, which take into account the purchasing power of the minimum wage, the growth rate, general level and distribution of gross wages, and also productivity.
Minimum wage in 21 EU countries in January 2021 (source: Eurostat)
The chart released by Eurostat in January 2021 still shows the minimum wage for 2020.
As of 1 February this year, the gross minimum wage rose to 167,400 forints (approx. 480 euros) while the gross guaranteed wage minimum grew to 219 thousand forints (approx. 630 euros), which means an almost 4 percent rise.
Inflation will rise this year at roughly the same rate on an annual basis.
In the statement, President of MASZSZ László Kordás pointed out that it is also important that the Commission’s proposal sets the criteria for the appropriate minimum wage for all member states, which take into account the purchasing power of the minimum wage, the growth rate, general level and distribution of gross wages, and productivity.
Minimum wage in Hungary 2000-2021
MASZSZ has long called for all full-time workers in the EU to receive a minimum wage that guarantees a decent living based on standardized criteria; in addition to that they claim it should also be a priority that earnings that are slightly above the minimum should be raised, and the gender pay gap should be eliminated.
In Hungary, workers who are paid minimum wage or the guaranteed wage minimum make up a quarter of all employees- the union leader emphasized.