July 28, 2021

distinction by age, commission of experts, agreements …

distinction by age, commission of experts, agreements ...


The budget agreement between the Government and Podemos that, contemplates among other measures the rise of the Minimum Interprofessional Salary (SMI) to 900 euros and whose budgetary impact has been estimated in 340 million euros and that it will represent 164 euros more per month during 2018 has returned to the debate the usefulness of this current instrument in several European countries of our environment, although with different characteristics regarding the universal character that it has in Spain.

For example, according to the professor of Economic Analysis of the Autonomous University of Madrid (UAM) Marcel Jansenn, in Holland the minimum wage is staggered according to age. For example, the one corresponding to adolescents between 16 and 18 years old is one third of the minimum of those over 23 years, which can reach 1,594.20 euros per month in absolute terms (measured in 12 months, according to Eurostat). What amounts to a gross monthly salary for the youngest Dutch of about 531.4 euros. Very inferior to the Spanish SMI in force of 858.55 euros. Subsequently, the situation reverses.

The circumstance occurs that Spain until 1998 also differentiated by age, now there is a unique one for adults or teenagers. In this regard, Jansenn has argued that it was suppressed with the argument "prevent young people compete in salary." What, in his opinion, loses its validity "when we want to raise the SMI with values ​​comparable to Nordic countries".

The distinction by ages, "of generous average wages for adult professionals is aimed at avoid the negative impact on the youngest », it is shared by other European countries such as Germany. In this line, for example, by introducing the minimum wage in 2015, certain groups such as apprentices, the long-term unemployed for six months, minors or seasonal workers were excluded from the salary. The objective would be no other than to provide these groups with access to employment.

In contrast, in countries like France or UK the SMI is fixed as in Spain by law and this is universal and equal for all age groups. However, with an essential nuance: the decision is based on a previous technical analysis prepared by a commission of experts or similar body and the increases are progressive, not adopted arbitrarily or for political reasons. Nor is the calendar changed to the side of the party that occupies the Government. For example, in the English case, there is the Comission of Low Wages which has invested in various research and analysis projects, encouraging the corresponding national statistical office. The purpose is simply to adopt the best resolution with the most information available.


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