2020 Reply to 2nd phase consultation on a possible action on fair minimum wages

The reply provides the answers of industries represented by Ceemet on the European Commission second phase social partner consultation under Article 154 TFEU on a possible action addressing the challenges related to fair minimum wages.

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Ceemet key messages

  • It is vital that the concept of worker as defined by the Member States is respected as EU interference in this regard would go fully against the principle of subsidiarity and TFEU.
  • Matters related to the notion of an employment relationship or the concept of a worker are a core competence of the Member States.
  • “Adequate criteria” to determine “fair” minimum wages cannot be defined/developed in isolation. Wages are set at different levels and are combining economic factors, productivity according to the situation or outlook at national, sectoral, regional or company level. The weighing of these factors too will vary according to the situation.
  • To strengthen collective bargaining structures, the appropriate conditions to encourage social dialogue and increase the capacity, representativeness and mandate of social partners should be created at national level
  • The EU, as well as Member States’ authorities involved, should also allocate more and more easily accessible EU funds to support capacity building of social partners as a contribution to an effective and well-functioning social dialogue
  • It is up to representative and autonomous social partners to discuss and agree on how to best represent the new actors of the platform economy and start-ups
  • Ceemet does not agree with introducing a Directive nor a Commission proposal to pursue the policy objectives of section 6.1[1].
  • The measures and actions to pursue the policy objectives of section 6.1 have to be taken at the national level
  • The semester process/country specific recommendations (CSR) is the adequate framework to recommend reforms to the Member States to pursue the policy objectives in the different areas mentioned by the Commission in section 6.1
  • The involvement of (sector) social partners in the semester process should be reinforced
  • The EU should also foster a structured exchange of best practices in the different areas mentioned by the Commission in section 6.1
  • The guidelines for employment policies of the Member States that are proposed for update on a yearly basis are yet another tool to encourage Member States and social partners to ensure the adequacy of wage level

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