No need for a statutory minimum wage, says Finland

European Commission Executive Vice-President Valdis Dombrovskis (L) and European Commissioner for Jobs and Social Rights Nicolas Schmit participate in a media conference on EU adequate minimum wages at EU headquarters in Brussels, Belgium, 28 October 2020. [EPA-EFE/VIRGINIA MAYO]

Finland says it will stick to its traditional wage bargaining system as opposed to being subjected to an EU-wide minimum after the European Commission presented on Wednesday a proposal for a Directive aimed at ensuring that employees in the Union are paid an adequate minimum wage.

While 21 EU member states have statutory minimum wages, the remaining six, which include Sweden, Finland, Denmark, Italy, Austria, Cyprus, provide minimum wage protection by collective wage bargaining agreements.

It is expected that the Commission may recommend MPs to adopt a minimum wage law. However, Finland has argued that it would rather stick to its traditional wage bargaining system and not be subjected to an EU-wide minimum.

According to Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen, the Commission’s minimum wage framework will be drawn up “in full respect of national traditions”.

The wordings of the Commission make sector-specific wage bargaining agreements a shining example, according to the Commissioner for Jobs and Social Rights, Nicolas Schmit.

“Minimum wages have to play catch up with other wages which have seen growth in recent decades, leaving minimum wages lagging behind. Collective bargaining should be the gold standard across all Member States,” added Schmit. (Pekka Vänttinen |

Subscribe to our newsletters