Evaluation of the adequacy of government minimum wage valorization policy in the Czech Republic in 2017 in the European context
Research background: The government of the Czech Republic has agreed to an increase in the minimum monthly wage as of the beginning of 2017 to 11,000 CZK, which represents a year-over-year increase of over 11 %. The government is thus fulfilling its objective set out in February 2014 and stipulated in the Government Statement of Purpose, i.e. to approximate the minimum wage to 40 % of average wages.
Purpose of the article: The purpose of the article is to assess the adequacy of the Government Minimum Wage Valorization Policy, in particular from two points of view. Firstly, in view of selected macroeconomic indicators in the Czech Republic — the development of consumer prices, average gross wages, economic growth and workforce productivity. Secondly, in comparison with other EU member states which have introduced the institution of a minimum wage.
Methods: In order to assess the adequacy of government policy to improve the social protection of the rights of the working population, a background research was conducted into the literature of important studies on the effects of minimum wages on unemployment, while the development of average gross wages in the CR, the minimum monthly wages in the CR and the Kaitz index were also analyzed. Furthermore, an evaluation of selected macroeconomic indicators in the Czech Republic was performed by means of time lines and the percentage representation of employees in the individual gross wage bands according to sex and type of economic activity. Last, but not least, a comparison was made of minimum wages, real gross domestic product per capita and workforce productivity in Euros and in purchasing power standards between the Czech Republic and countries which have enacted the institution of minimum wages.
Findings and Value added: The minimum wage in the Czech Republic is the fifth lowest in the EU. In the long term, it is earned by approximately 3% of employees, which is less than the rate common in other EU countries. Currently, the amount of the minimum wage is below the threshold of income poverty. In comparison with the GDP per capita in PPS and real labour productivity per person employed in other EU countries, the position of the Czech Republic is significantly better, although other EU countries offer higher minimum wages. The decision of the current government to significantly increase the minimum wage as of 2017 is correct.