Minimum salary higher in 2019
In a recent press briefing, Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki and Minister of Family, labour and Social Policy Elżbieta Rafalska announced the new minimum monthly salary and minimum hourly wage for 2019. The government decided to raise both amounts to 2250 PLN and 14.70 PLN respectively. This means that from January minimum remuneration in Poland will be higher by 7 percent compared with this year.
The amount of minimum salary is established each year by the government, following negotiations with Polish labour unions. In 2018, this amount was 2100 PLN gross, which translates to 13.70 PLN per hour (monthly and hourly wages are correlated). It was expected that Mateusz Morawiecki’s cabinet would push this amount even further up. According to the media, politicians intended to raise the monthly amount to 2220 PLN. That was contested by labour unions’ representatives, headed by Piotr Duda. The unions demanded the government to raise the minimum salary even higher, to 2383 PLN. Morawiecki decided to give in to those demands a little bit, and in the end the minimum remuneration was established at 2250 PLN per month (14,70 PLN per hour).
“We want the development of Polish economy to be driven not by low pay, but by growing pay” – said the Prime Minister. Morawiecki stressed that Polish people “deserve financial security, honest, decent life, and decent treatment”. Elżbieta Rafalska noted the government wanted to make sure there is no growing gap between the minimum salary and the average salary, the latter of which in the first quarter of 2018 was estimated at 4,436 PLN. This means that the new minimum remuneration will be equivalent to 47.2 percent of the average monthly remuneration in Poland.
Although the minimum salary in 2019 will be higher than initially planned, the labour unions are not content with the results of negotiations. They claim it would be possible to push the number even higher. On the other hand, representatives of employers say the decision of the government is not good and that the raise will be a problem when the economy will start cooling off.