The Czech government on Monday decided to raise the minimum wage by 700 crowns (33 U.S. dollars) to 9,200 crowns (440 U.S. dollars) a month as of January 2015, Czech Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka announced.
Under the proposal, the minimum wage will be increased by 8.2 percent as of January 2015. The hourly minimum wage is to be raised from 50.60 crowns to 55 crowns.
The lowest guaranteed wages for employees in the civil service and those without a collective agreement are also to be increased.
"I am of the opinion that minimum wage has to be gradually increased to fulfill its motivational role compared with income from welfare benefits," Sobotka said. He added the current minimum wage does not enable a dignified livelihood for the people who work.
The cost of the change is to be 1.3 billion crowns for employers and about 195 million crowns for the state. The Czech Labor and Social Affairs Ministry says the new proposal takes into account economic development, presumed growth in prices and wages as well as the government's plan to raise the minimum wage so that it is eventually close to 40 percent of average wages.
The Czech government increased the minimum wage by 500 crowns in August 2013. However, before then, the minimum wage had not been changed since 2007. (1 U.S. dollar = 21 Czech crowns)