On Wednesday, 28 September, Latvian parliament’s Social and Employment Matters Committee conceptually supported amendments to the Labour Law intended to increase minimal wage to EUR 620 in 2023 and EUR 700 in 2024.
For amendments to come to force, they have to be passed by the Saeima in three readings.
Authors of the legislative draft mention in the annotation that wages paid to residents in Latvia cannot be lower than the minimal amount set by the state.
The increase of minimal wage will promote the increase of income of households. It could motivate higher involvement in the labour market. Increase of minimal wages is also one of the tools to help reduce poverty among working people, as mentioned in the annotation to the legislative draft.
Since 1 January 2021 onward the minimal monthly wage in Latvia is EUR 500, whereas the minimal wage in Lithuania is EUR 730 and in Estonia it is EUR 654.
The annotation mentions that the average wage in the country has increased in recent years. Data from the Central Statistical Bureau of Latvia indicates that the gross average wage for full-time work in Latvia was EUR 1 277 in 2021. This is 11.8% or EUR 135 more when compared to 2020.