You have just secured your first job. Which wage level can you aspire to? Jobs.lu gives you a few details about what you have to know about the Social Minimum Wage (SMW).
What is it?
It is the legal minimum wage that corresponds to a full-time job*, that your employer has to pay you. It has been revised upwards for the last time on January 1st, 2007 and amounts to 1,570.28 euros gross per month.
Its level remains the highest among the 20 Member States of the EU that have a national legislation establishing a legal minimum wage. You should know that it is 17 times higher than the minimum wage in Bulgaria where it is the lowest in Europe with €92 per month. Even after taking the differences in the purchasing power into account, Luxembourg remains at the top of the list.
Luxembourg is thus included in the list of countries, together with France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Ireland and the United Kingdom, where the minimum wage exceeds 1,200 euros per month.
The minimum wage concerns nearly 11% of the workforce in Luxembourg.
Who does it apply to?
In accordance with the labour code (Article L.222-1.), the social minimum wage applies to all employees, without distinction of gender, hired by an employer within the scope of a work contract, all occupations and companies taken into account.
However, the level of the SMW depends on the age and the qualification of the employee. Indeed, Luxembourg’s legislation distinguishes between qualified and unqualified employees.
Here is the scale of the SMW for unqualified workers:
|Hourly wage||Monthly wage|
|18 years and older, unqualified||100%||9,0768||1570,28|
|17 – 18 years||80%||7,2614||1256,22|
|15 – 17 years||75%||6,8076||1177,71|
But ask for information, as the company for which you work may have concluded a collective agreement providing for a higher minimum wage than the SMW.
Who can aspire to the social minimum wage for qualified workers?
The qualified worker is the worker with a profession acquired through an education or training and who is awarded an official diploma.
If you manage to show proof of a professional qualification, your wage will rise by 20%.
This is because the Social Minimum Wage for the qualified worker amounts to 1,884.34 euros, or 10.8921 euros per hour.
You might, however, find it difficult to have your professional qualification be recognized at its true value. Your employer could refuse to recognize your status as a qualified worker.
In order to get a certificate of your level, you can contact the Ministry of Culture, Higher Education and Research:
18-20, Montée de la Pétrusse
Phone: 00352 / 478-5139
*The normal working hours for workers and private employees are 8 hours a day and 40 hours a week.
Sources: Figures published by Eurostat, the Statistical Office of the European Communities, CRD EURES, Chamber of Trades
English version: Robert Mouris