EU- Report on minimum wage and pay for the self-employed 

Eurofound published a new report on minimum wages and other forms of pay for the self-employed. The main objective of the report is to understand how minimum wages, wage rates, fees and other forms of pay could be fixed for specific jobs or professions in sectors with a high level of ‘vulnerable’ workers, as well as ‘concealed’ self-employed. While the majority of Member States allow trade union representation of self-employed, the right to collective bargaining for the self-employed is much more limited.  

Austria-New collective agreements for public service and health workers  

The trade unions younion and GÖD union have negotiated a 7.15% pay rise from 1 January 2023 with a 7.32% increase on allowances for public service workers. However, the minimum guaranteed increase of € 170 a month will mean that the lowest paid workers will see pay rise by 9.41%. Meanwhile, the services unions Vida and GPA have concluded a new collective agreement covering 130,000 employees in the private health, social and care sector. The two unions welcomed the 8% wage increase from 1 January 2023 along with the guaranteed minimum rise of €175 a month that means an increase of 10.2% for the lowest paid workers. 

France- New collective agreement in energy sector 

In the main electricity and gas sector negotiations the trade unions CGT, CFDT and FO have agreed a 2.3% increase of the basic national salary for 2023 with a minimum guaranteed increase of € 1,040 for a year, along with individualised increases worth another 1%. The union CFE-CGC refused to sign the agreement arguing that the increase was inadequate. The negotiations followed mobilisations by the unions earlier in the autumn demanding pay negotiations to address the cost of living crisis and the increases come in addition to the extra bonuses paid this year in response to higher inflation. The payments ranged between € 600 and € 1,000 depending on the company.  

Germany-Agreement in the metal industry 

The trade union IG Metall and employers have agreed on a result for the metal and electrical industry in Baden-Württemberg: a package of permanent pay increases by a total of 8.5% and an inflation compensation premium of € 3,000 in two stages. Wages will rise by 5.2% in June 2023 and a further 3.3% in May 2024. The first part of the inflation compensation premium of € 1,500 will be paid in February 2023 and a further € 1,500 in February 2024. More than 900,000 employees have gone on warning strikes to exert pressure on the negotiations. The collective agreement will run until 30 September 2024. 

Italy-New collective agreement in insurance sector  

The new collective agreement in the insurance sector includes an average pay rise of € 205 over three years and a € 2,000 lump sum payment to account for the lack of recent wage increases, as well as a sharper focus on technological innovation and digitalisation. The social partners want to make the agreement the benchmark in the sector, at a time when many subcontracted workers benefit from less favourable conditions. The text, which covers around 47,000 workers, must now be approved by the employees' assemblies. The new collective agreement comes into force immediately and will be valid until 31 December 2024.