HomeWorldMinimum wage: Poland overtakes Malta despite 11% increase

Minimum wage: Poland overtakes Malta despite 11% increase

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A comparison of minimum wages in Europe by the European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions (Eurofound) shows that Malta has registered the sixth-highest increase in its minimum wage among member states with a statutory minimum wage. 

Following the Budget revision which raised the minimum wage over and above the normal COLA increase, Malta’s monthly minimum wage increased by 10.8%, from €835 in January 2023 to €925 in January 2024.  

In the study, the Maltese minimum wage – defined at weekly frequency – was converted to a monthly rate of 4.33 weeks per calendar month. In the same timeframe, inflation in Malta increased by 3.7%, which was the 12th highest among these 22 member states.  

But while Maltese workers benefitted from one of the highest increases in their minimum wage, the country remains in mid-league position when it comes to the amount of money they received. 

Moreover, Malta has now been overtaken by Poland, where workers benefitted from the largest minimum wage increase in Europe from €746 in 2023 to €978, a remarkable increase of 21.5%. The massive increase reflected a relatively high inflation rate of 6.2% has seen Poland overtake both Malta and Portugal. 

The minimum wage in Poland increased by a remarkable 196% from 2010 levels when its minimum wage was set at a miserable €330. 

Another eastern European country which has overtaken Malta in the past decade was Slovenia, whose minimum wage increased by a staggering 109% from €647 in 2010 to €1,358. 

In contrast, the minimum wage in Malta increased by only 43% between 2010 and 2022, from €647 to €925, only overtaking Lithuania in the European rankings with a wage of just €1 higher. 

Malta’s minimum wage remains significantly lower than that in most western European countries where the minimum wage ranges from €1,260 in Spain to over €2,000 a month in Luxembourg (€2,571), the Netherlands (€2,183), Ireland (€2,146) and Germany (€2,049). 

It is also lower than that in Cyprus (€1,000), Poland (€978) and Portugal (€957). But it remains higher than a group of 10 other EU member states, all Eastern European, with the exception of Greece where the minimum wage is just €15 lower than Malta’s. 

Edging closer to Malta is Croatia whose minimum wage has increased by a staggering 20% from €700 in 2023 to €840 in 2024. 

At the bottom of the ranking order, one finds Bulgaria where the minimum wage amounts to just €477, and Romania where the minimum wage amounts to €663. 

Austria, Denmark, Finland, Italy, and Sweden do not have a statutory minimum wage.  

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