Portugal: Minimum salary applied to 730,000 workers in March, 23% of workforce

Page created: Friday, 2 June 2017 9:22 GMT

Minimum Salary

Lisbon, June 1 (Lusa) – There were some 730,000 workers in Portugal earning the statutory minimum monthly salary in March, up 88,900 or almost 14% on a year earlier, with the new total representing almost 23% of the whole workforce.

Following the increase in the minimum salary to €557 in January, the fifth report on the subject, submitted by the government to trade union federations and employer organisations on Thursday, states that in March “there were about 730,000 workers covered” by this level of salary.

The year-on-year increase was markedly lower than that seen in March of 2016, when the number of workers on the minimum salary at that time was up by more than 24% on a year earlier-

The proportion of workers on the minimum salary, at 22.9%, was up 2.2 percentage points on the proportion of March 2016.

Portugal’s minimum salary was frozen at €485 between 2011 and October 2014, when the previous right-of-centre government increased it to €505, as a result of an agreement with employer organisations and one trade union federation, the UGT. That was to be in return for a 0.75-point reduction in employers’ social security contributions for minimum-salary workers.

The Socialist government that took office at the end of 2015 has increased the minimum salary twice: to €530 in 2016 and to €557 this year – with the declared aim of continuing to raise it step by step to €600 in 2019.