LabMinTurcan: Minimum wage increase to be backed by business environment, or else we get to layoffs

The increase of the minimum wage must be done in accordance with the business environment, otherwise it will lead to layoffs and everything will turn against the people, Labour Minister Raluca Turcan said on Thursday in a press conference. "Any increase in the minimum wage must also be supported by the economic environment, otherwise you end up with job losses and layoffs and everything turns against the people," she stressed. The minister said that in 2019 it was the first time that the value of the minimum wage was calculated in relation to some well-defined indicators: productivity, inflation, increase in the average net salary gain. "Depending on these indicators, a correction index was also applied and we reached the increase of the minimum wage at the end of 2019. At the beginning of last year, in the negotiations with the trade unions and employers' associations, we tried to maintain the same indicators in order to keep the jobs. We want to do the same thing this year. Moreover, I wish that, beyond the fact that by the end of the year I will present a legal framework so that the minimum wage has a justification for the increase that it will have, the same legal framework will remain longer in the term, because the business environment needs a projection not only for a year, but for two or three years, to know how to size the jobs and the level of wages," the minister went on. When asked what guarantees she offers that this increase in the minimum wage will actually happen, Turcan replied: "My role is not to offer guarantees, but to have negotiations, to present advantages, disadvantages, analyses and to get to generate decisions. I don't think I'm any braver, nor less braver, if I start sketching the guarantees now. I, as Minister of Labour, believe that a predictable, sustainable increase in the minimum wage is needed, so as to increase the number of jobs and people's incomes to be decent." According to the Minister of Labour, there are currently 1.6 million people in Romania paid the minimum wage.AGERPRES(RO - author: Florentina Cernat, editor: Andreea Marinescu; EN - author: Maria Voican, editor: Simona Iacob)

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