On September 14, 2022, the European Parliament finally approved the directive implementing the minimum wage principle in the European Union. The directive was also finally approved on October 4 by the Council of the European Union.

The goal is to ensure “a reasonable standard of living”, the directive states. The latter does not provide for a precise level of minimum wage, giving full flexibility to member countries, which must ensure more transparency in salary determination.

The directive introduces an obligation for countries to establish a reliable monitoring system, as well as controls and inspections, to deal with illegal subcontracting, fictitious self-employment or unregistered overtime.

In addition, it establishes procedures to set minimum wages, promote the involvement of collective bargaining on wage setting and improve effective access to minimum wage protection for workers who are entitled to a minimum wage under national law. Indeed, member states with statutory minimum wages will have to establish a procedural framework for setting and updating minimum wages according to a range of clear criteria.

Another goal is to increase the number of workers subject to collective bargaining. To this end, countries should promote the capability of social partners to participate in collective bargaining. Should, the collective bargaining coverage rate fall below a threshold of 80%, member states should establish an action plan to promote collective bargaining involvement.

Member states will have two years to implement the directive.

On 6 June 2017, as a follow up of what had been established in the Renewal Agreement dated 26 November 2016, Federmeccanica, Assistal, Fim, Fiom and Uilm, have adjusted the minimum contractual salary levels by [job position] level on the basis of the actual inflation rate. And not only that. In the agreement, also the indemnity due in the case of travel and the standby allowance have been adjusted as well as the new percentages for piece work allowance.  In particular, the contracting parties have fine-tuned the provision on the fixed travel allowance for each meal, lunch or dinner, and for overnight stay whose amounts, effective from 1 June 2017, are the following: (a) full travel allowance, Eur 42.85; (b) meal allowance for lunch or dinner, Eur 11.73; (c) overnight stay Eur 19.39. No changes have been applied to travel allowance increases split based on 15% for the rates for meals and 70% for overnight stay. Regarding standby allowance, the contracting parties have established (a) that the following schedule may be requested: (i) by hour, (ii) by day and (iii) by week; (b) that the weekly one cannot exceed two consecutive weeks on four and cannot include more than six consecutive days; (c) the new values effective from 1 June 2017, for the related indemnity compensation. Instead, with reference to piecework allowance it was established that the related rates must be established by the company so that to guarantee to an employee “of normal capacity and activity” in the time periods typically considered, achievement of a piecework income not lower than the minimum salary level percentages that range from 0.87% for the first Category to 1.01% for the 5th Super Category.