Belgium pushes minimum wage over €2,000 with bid in for more

People wave Belgian flags as royal family members arrive outside of the national ball in the Marolles district of Brussels on Saturday, July 20, 2013.
People wave Belgian flags as royal family members arrive outside of the national ball in the Marolles district of Brussels on Saturday, July 20, 2013. Copyright Geert Vanden Wijngaert/AP
By Doloresz Katanich
Share this articleComments
Share this articleClose Button

A hike in the minimum wage puts the country among the few in Europe where the minimum wage surpasses €2,000, as high taxes bite.

ADVERTISEMENT

The Belgian minimum wage will increase from 1 April, reaching €2,029.88 per month. 

The €35,70 rise puts the country among the top five EU member states, among the 22 countries of the bloc, where the minimum wage surpasses €2,000, according to Eurostat.

A further increase is planned for 2026, with this same amount.

Trade unions said that this raise will affect 80,000 people with low income.

As a tax employment bonus will also increase from 1 April, workers will have higher net salaries, leading to a potential increase of around €50 per month.

From 1 April, the salaries of public sector workers will also be indexed by 2% to keep up with inflation. 

According to Eurostat, the minimum wage in Belgium for full-time employers rose by some €400 over the last four years, it was €1,593.81 in 2019 and €1,994.18 in December 2023.

The Francophone Socialist Party (PS) in the country is currently campaigning by saying that they want to increase the gross minimum wage to €2,800, which would translate to €2,000 net. This would then be 60% of the median salary in Belgium.

The president of the PS Paul Magnette said to Belgian broadcaster BX1 that increasing salaries would have a  positive impact on the State, "If we want to seriously tackle Belgium’s deficit, we must increase salaries."

Labour costs in Belgium are one of the highest in the EU

Labour costs are the third highest in Belgium among the EU countries, where the average hourly cost of labour was €47.10 in 2023, according to Eurostat.

Hourly labour costs ranged from €9 to €54 in the EU last year, with an average €31.80, which shows an increase compared to 2022, when it was €30.2. 

The cheapest hourly labour comes from Bulgaria, where it costs employers an average of €9.3 euro/hour to employ someone. In Romania this is €11 euro/hour and in Hungary this is €12.8 euro/hour.

On the other hand, Luxembourg is quite pricy, average hourly labour costs are sitting at €53.9, in Denmark it is€48.1.

Share this articleComments

You might also like