EPSCO Council in Brussels: Spain leads Europe in advancing the minimum wage directive
The Second Vice-President of the Government of Spain and Minister for Work and Social Economy, Yolanda Díaz, has defended the directive on adequate minimum wages in the EU, which has received broad support from the majority of the 27 Member States, at the European Union’s Employment, Social Policy, Health and Consumer Affairs Council (EPSCO).
The Second Vice-President insisted on the importance of this directive, in whose proposal Spain has exercised positive and constructive leadership. The initiative envisages common principles and indicators for establishing minimum wages.
“This proposal for a Directive responds to the scientific evidence that has shown that high and secure minimum wages have a positive impact on the economy and promote inclusive and shared growth. We must get closer to reality and abandon failed dogmas”, the minister said in her speech.
In this regard, she stressed the need to strengthen collective bargaining at a sectoral level to ensure that the social partners have effective bargaining power, to promote the use of common international indicators that allow a fair assessment of the adequacy of wages, and to ensure that deductions and variations do not undermine the protective function of the minimum wage.
Díaz concluded her speech by calling for the best possible directive to be achieved by being ambitious and aware of the real scope of citizens’ demands.
Another of the future directives that was intensely debated at EPSCO was that of wage transparency, a legislative measure that Minister Díaz has defended as necessary to achieve effective equality between men and women in this area.
After recalling her Ministry’s commitment to equality and equity and the measures promoted, such as equal and non-transferable family leave, as well as a wage transparency system to identify and correct unjustified wage inequalities, the Vice-President expressed her conviction that the directive will strengthen the identification of these inequalities and will contribute efficiently to eliminating the persistent wage gap between men and women, a factor which, in addition, has an impact on the invisibility of feminised work.
“These measures will have a positive impact on reducing the gender bias in wage structures and the undervaluing of women’s work”, said the minister, who said she was in favour of extending them to as many companies as possible and that workers’ representatives should be able to effectively review their implementation.