State secretary of the Hungarian Ministry of Innovation and Technology: Wage negotiations to resume in January

English2021. jan. 4.Növekedé

No agreement was made on the minimum wage and the guaranteed wage minimum for 2021 at Wednesday's negotiations; the government is trying to reach a compromise, so talks will resume in January, the state secretary for employment policy of the Ministry of Innovation and Technology said at the press conference in Budapest.

After the meeting of the Permanent Consultation Forum of the Competitive Sector and the Government (VKF), Sándor Bodó said that it was the economic uncertainty that was hampering the agreement, as there wasn’t a vast gap between the proposals of the representatives of employers and employees at the VKF.

He recalled that according to last year's wage agreement, the minimum wage and the guaranteed wage minimum rose by 8 percent in 2020, reaching 161,000 and 210,600 forints gross, respectively.

The state secretary explained that 4.5 million people were working in Hungary before the outbreak of the epidemic, which was an increase of more than 800,000 compared to the figures before 2010.

More than 700,000 of the 800,000 newly employed people were hired in the private sector, which provided stability for the Hungarian labour market.

He pointed out that during the first wave of the epidemic the government took measures to help both employers and employees. He mentioned, for example, tax breaks, wage and competitiveness subsidies, soft loans to businesses and the loan repayment moratorium.

He revealed that in the spring they were able to save 207,000 jobs thanks to the job protection program, and create almost 50,000 new jobs with the 6 + 3 job-creating wage subsidy.

In the autumn, the government provided support to the hardest hit sectors, including tourism, hospitality, the hotel industry, the service sector and tour operators. The wage subsidy program helped about 74,000 employees, and around 11-12 thousand employers applied for the support.

He added that the wage subsidy program for highly qualified professionals in the research, development and innovation sector will restart in January. The program was first launched in the spring, when it helped save 22,000 jobs and the amount paid in the program was 17 billion forints.

At the same time, he noted that the program, which will be relaunched in January, will now also apply to newly hired employees, so in addition to saving jobs, the government is also supporting the creation of new ones. The government's goal has not changed: to create as many jobs as the epidemic destroys, state secretary Sándor Bodó stated.