A minimum wage is the lowest amount that can be legally paid to an employee by an employer either per hour, day, or month in a particular state/province or country. This definition does not apply to the maximum limit that can be paid to an employee, it sets the ground rules for payment being that an employer cannot pay less than the legal minimum wage required. Or in another context, it could be said to be the lowest amount that is collectively negotiated by trade unions and/or social partners to be paid to employees in different job sectors usually recognized by the federal government.
Minimum wage in Portugal
Portugal’s minimum wage is calculated based on a flat monthly rate. The national minimum wage in Portugal in 2018 is €580 per month (based on 14 payments in a year, or €676.67 based on 12 payments). Portugal’s minimum wage is updated annually based on the cost of living, national productivity and the government’s prices and incomes policy.
In Portugal, the minimum wage is divided into two payment groups and is being paid monthly not hourly. The two groups of payments are;
14-month salary earners receive €580 which is equivalent to $669
12-month salary earners receive €676.67 ($780.51)
The minimum salary in Portugal is calculated based on 14 payments in a year rather than 12, so if you’re paid 12 times a year instead, the minimum monthly wage is €676.67.
The Portuguese three official minimum wages which are more or less the same across three regions of the country which are; the standard Portuguese minimum wage rates, the Azores region, and the Madeira region. There are certain laws and regulations governing the country’s minimum wage policy and are strictly followed up by the government. Therefore if any employer seizes to adhere to these rules set, he/she is punishable by the law usually through to payment of fines or even temporary custody. This can be found under the Portuguese labor law in articles 273-275.
Compared to other European countries, the Portuguese minimum wage is low.
Though, the unemployment rate has impressively decreased over the years and stands at 8% as of 2018.
The minimum wage is determined by the government committee comprising of government officials, ministers, and representatives of trade unions who on a yearly basis evaluate and renew the minimum wage based on factors such as the economy, inflation, cost of living, Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and the government’s income policy.
The minimum wage can be received by all full-time workers in all industries and sectors provide the worker has the legal age of 18. Though, those younger than 18 like interns and apprentices may receive 80% of the Portuguese minimum wage.