The minimum decent wage is almost 34,000 crowns, 40,000 crowns in Prague, experts say

What is the minimum amount a person should earn to cover the costs for him and one child and allow both to meet their needs, including leisure and small savings?

According to experts from the platform, for a decent minimum wage, in the first quarter, it should be CZK 33 909, and in Prague, it should be CZK 39 974. These amounts, which are opposed to the actual minimum wage, are not within reach of many workers.

The platform has considered the costs of food, housing, clothing, transport, health, education, mobile phones, internet, and a small reserve, as well as price increases. With current and projected inflation for this year, the amount would rise to 34,977 in the regions and 41,233 in the capital.

Last year, the decent minimum wage was calculated as CZK 31 146 and CZK 36 717 in the capital. According to data from the statistics office, the average salary in the Czech Republic last year was CZK 37 839, while the median was CZK 34 360.

A group at risk

More than two dozen experts on social issues, economists, sociologists, and political scientists have been working on the concept of a decent minimum wage since 2016. The experts based their calculations on data from the statistics office, ministries, and other institutions.

They calculated the remuneration for a full-time job for someone who supports another person – a child or an adult. For the first time, they published the amount for 2019.

According to the platform’s findings, 41 percent of about 3.6 million private-sector jobs last year were below the decent minimum wage. This affects about 1.5 million people. Forty-eight percent of women and 35 percent of men fall short of the amount. Seventeen percent of workers earn less than the decent minimum wage in the public sector.

The minimum wage last year was CZK 15 200. This year it is CZK 16 200. The experts said that the parental allowance for three years pays CZK 8,333 a month. The decent minimum wage, excluding clothing and leisure expenses, and without setting aside savings, would be 21,035 crowns.

According to the authors, it is necessary to further increase earnings in the Czech Republic. They also recommend that companies must guarantee decent wages to obtain public contracts or subsidies. The range of accessible or affordable services and goods should be expanded. Wage-replacement benefits should also be sufficient.