Minimum Wage Hike on the Horizon for Bulgaria in 2025

Business » FINANCE | May 22, 2024, Wednesday // 15:23
Bulgaria: Minimum Wage Hike on the Horizon for Bulgaria in 2025

Starting from January 1, 2025, Bulgaria aims to raise its minimum wage to at least BGN 1,080 (EUR 552), a significant increase from the current BGN 933 (EUR 477). This announcement was made by Luboslav Kostov, Chief Economist of the Confederation of Independent Trade Unions of Bulgaria (CITUB), during a forum organized by trade unions to discuss the new European directive on minimum wages, as reported by BNR.

The decision to increase the minimum wage comes as a result of changes in the Labor Code, which stipulate that the minimum wage should constitute 50% of the national average. With calculations already indicating that the new minimum wage should surpass BGN 1,000 (EUR 511), Kostov emphasized the necessity of implementing this change in accordance with active legislation.

Kostov highlighted that the proposed increase to BGN 1,080 represents a 15.7% raise compared to the current wage level, emphasizing its alignment with legal requirements outlined in the Labor Code. He also noted that by September 1, the Minister of Labor is expected to issue a decree determining the exact amount of the minimum wage for January 1, 2025.

Commenting on the average salary trends, Kostov mentioned that while data for three out of four quarters is available, with the median salary for the first quarter of 2024 reaching nearly BGN 2,200 (EUR 1125), more comprehensive insights are needed for accurate projections.

In light of the upcoming transposition deadline for the European minimum wage directive, CITUB and the Confederation of Labour "Podkrepa" are advocating for bringing the minimum wage closer to the estimated subsistence level, currently calculated at BGN 1,450 (EUR 741) per month for a single worker. Atanas Katsarchev, Chief Economist of "Podkrepa," emphasized the importance of addressing the disparity between minimum wages and the cost of living to combat growing poverty rates.

Reflecting on recent increases in the minimum wage, he noted that while they demonstrate positive momentum, they have yet to translate into significant improvements in the purchasing power of the population.

The European directive on minimum wages emphasizes the importance of ensuring adequate minimum wages to achieve a decent standard of living, reduce working poverty, promote social cohesion, and address gender pay gaps. It also underscores the significance of collective bargaining and workers' access to minimum wage protection, with Member States required to provide annual reports on minimum wage protection data to the European Commission.

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Tags: minimum wage, Bulgaria, salary

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