Saturday, March 2, 2024

MINIMUM WAGE FOR ONE MILLION SERBIAN WORKERS

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More than 400,000 Serbian workers left their jobs in EU countries and came back to Serbia following the outbreak of the corona virus epidemic.
Tomorrow the government will start to pay out minimum wages (30.000 dinars i.e. 254 euros) to one million employees working in Serbian SMEs. The money (32 billion dinars i.e. 271.186 million euros, in total) will be deposited to the accounts of 232.000 companies. The initial payment was made at the beginning of May and the third will follow the first week of July. All payments will cost the government more than 800 million euros, the money being a part of a huge 5.1 billion euro plan aimed at rescuing Serbian economy. While workers in SMEs are entitled to full minimum wages, those working in big companies will get only a half of it – 15.000 dinars (177 euros) each.
The entitled to the state-funded minimum wage are only workers in formal sector with full or fixed time employment contracts. Unfortunately, the government did not show much compassion for the difficulties of temporary and seasonal workers who will be forced to find out by themselves how to survive. The retirees who keep on working will be treated the same way, as well as pregnant and post-partal female employees, whose salaries will be covered fully from the budget.
The Minister of Finance, Mali, has recently announced that the state was preparing twenty new additional economic measures, which, as he said, will be focused on new employment. According to him, a part of them will refer to the reduction of taxes and contributions for new employees, normally paid by the employers and another part to the direct subsidies for each newly employed worker.
The owners and directors of the companies are generally satisfied with the economic measures implemented by the Government of Serbia and have followed their recommendation not to lay off workers. The economy is slowly starting to work and open up, and Serbia will probably soon feel a growing need for an improved dual education system, able to provide a skilled workforce that will be ready to face the challenges of the hard times-to-come.

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