Dutch minimum wage among the six highest in the EU

07/08/2007 15:00

Since 1 January 2007, the monthly minimum wage in the Netherlands is set at 1,301 euro. It is among the six highest in the EU. At the end of 2005, about 4 percent of employees in the Netherlands earned the minimum (youth) wage.

Gross monthly minimum wage, January 2007 1)

Gross monthly minimum wage, January 2007 1)

1) Germany, Austria, Denmark, Finland, Sweden, Italy and Cyprus have no statutory minimum wage.

Considerable discrepancies between the EU countries

Early 2007, the statutory minimum wage in EU countries ranged from 92 euro a month in Bulgaria to 1,570 euro a month in Luxembourg. With 1,301 euro, the Dutch minimum wage was relatively high. In many European countries the minimum wage does not exceed 700 euro. In addition to Luxembourg and the Netherlands, Ireland, the United Kingdom, France and Belgium have minimum wages beyond 1,250 euro.

Minimum wage much lower than average wage

The average wage earned by employees is usually two to three times as high as the statutory minimum wage in the Netherlands. The average monthly full-time wage was approximately 2,900 euro by the end of 2005, i.e. more than twice the minimum wage. In the EU member states in Eastern Europe, both statutory minimum wage and average wage are well below the level of the rest of the EU member states.

Four percent of Dutch employees earn minimum wage

The proportion of minimum wage earners varies widely within the EU. In Bulgaria and France, over 15 percent of full-timers take home the minimum wage, but in most countries the proportion of minimum wage earners is much lower.

According to data by Statistics Netherlands 4 percent of employees in the Netherlands earned the minimum (youth) wage. Among them are many young people and flexible workers. In the sectors hotels and restaurants, agriculture and fisheries and trade, there are relatively many minimum wage earners.

Minimum (youth) wage earners in the Netherlands at end of 2005

Gross monthly minimum wage, January 2007 1)

André Corpeleijn

Source: Eurostat, Minimum wages in the EU in January 2007