Mathias Maucher, Senior Policy Officer of EAPN, joined the ETUC webinar “Why the Directive on adequate minimum wages should ensure that Member States increase their statutory minimum wages and stop wage theft” on 2 March.
In his intervention at the ETUC webinar, Mathias Maucher highlighted some of EAPN’s 10 main demands in view of provisions to be included in the future EU Directive on Adequate Minimum Wages. He focused on the persistent problems of in-work poverty and precarious employment, gaps in the coverage by minimum wages for certain groups and/or too low statutory minimum wages compared to other wages in the economy.
They do not sufficiently protect all workers against the risk of poverty , implying that some workers end up in situations where they financially cannot make ends meet. In 2019 there were about 17.2 million persons or nearly 1 out of 10 workers in the EU27! And their share went up in the last decade (from 8.3%). Overall, 7 out of 10 minimum wage workers report at least some difficulty in making ends meet.
The EC in its impact assessment for the proposed Directive reports that in several countries, improvements in minimum wage protection would result in a reduction of in-work poverty and wage inequality by over 10%. This evaluation is backed up by witness from the ground expressed at the European Meeting of People Experiencing Poverty in 2017.
Key points from the meeting:
1) “We need to break the myth that employment is enough to avoid (in-work) poverty”.
2) “In-work poverty means always having to check prices in supermarkets”.Read more on Minimum Wages