Achtsioglou: Employees will be able to negotiate wages after collective agreements are restored

The government’s aim is to increase the minimum wage, Labour Minister Efi Achtsioglou stated on Monday while speaking to the public broadcaster ERT. She also explained that once collective labour agreements are restored in August 2018, something that has been already legislated, it will be possible for employees to negotiate better wages.

“What we are trying to organise is an increase in disposable income for workers. The methodology is a technical task, so as to examine the labour market’s current capacity, hold social dialogue with the national social partners as happens in such cases and afterwards arrange for the increase of the minimum wage after the exit from the programme,” noted Achtsioglou.

She referred to Portugal’s example, where there were successive increases of up to 5 pct a year after its exit from the programme, monitored by a committee that examined whether these were having repercussions on employment. According to the results to date, said Achtsioglou, it does not appear to have a negative effect on employment.

In parallel, the minister noted plans to completely change the architecture of the fine for undeclared employment and transition to a logic of greater justice for employees. “The fine will be 10,500 euros but will gradually decline if the business proceeds to hire the undeclared employee, with the decline of the fine corresponding to the duration of the contract”.