Experts want to increase the minimum wage in Spain to €1,082 in 2023

by Lorraine Williamson
minimum wage 2023

MADRID – Experts propose to raise the minimum wage in Spain in 2023 between 4.6% and 8.2%. This means that the minimum wage could reach a maximum of €1,082 gross per month in 14 payments compared to the current €1,000. 

The committee of experts presented the report to the Department of Labour on Monday. It identifies four possible increases starting from 4.6% that would place the SMI at €1,046. After this increase, two intermediate scenarios of 5.4% to €1,054 and 6.6% to €1,066 are proposed. This would end with that increase of 8.2% to reach €1,082. This was announced by the coordinator of this committee of experts. 

Semi-annual review proposed 

The Committee stressed that with this reach, the SMI would reach 60% of the average net salary of 2022 set by the European Social Charter. It further explained that the average net salary in 2020 was €1,856. Therefore, on that basis, the SMI in 2020 should have been €1,032. With this premise, the experts used two different sources to estimate average wage increases for 2021 and 2022. This concerns the Wage Costs Survey and the Collective Labour Agreement survey. 

Related: Spain is the third European country with the highest minimum wage increase 

The experts also advise in their report to review the SMI after six months to assess its suitability in an inflationary context. 

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Meeting with social agents 

The Minister of Labour assured the decision on the increase of the SMI will be agreed by the social partners. Even if the government is only obliged to consult it. Next Wednesday, the ministry will convene trade unions and employers to discuss this issue. 

“The SMI is a very effective tool (…) And it is a success story because it has served to address Spain’s major problem: to improve inequality and has had a positive impact on the lowest wages,” stressed Minister Díaz. 

She also stressed that from 2018 to 2022, with an increase in the SMI of almost 36%, more than one million jobs have been created. That fact is a far cry from opposition “unscientific theories” that point to job destruction. 

UGT claims €1,100 per month from SMI 

The UGT trade union has demanded that the minimum wage increase by 10% in 2023, to €1,100 per month, a figure that is above the upper part of the range proposed by the committee of experts (€1,082). 

UGT also asks that this minimum wage be reviewed every six months with the level of inflation. The goal is always to maintain purchasing power, according to a statement. 

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