The government has decided to increase the minimum wage in 2017 to 2000 PLN. At the same time, the new act, introducing a.o. a minimum per hour wage, does not include the possibility of paying 80 percent of the minimum wage to employees with less than a year of work experience. – Combining the two regulations means that the minimum wage for recent graduates will increase from 1480 PLN to 2000 PLN. This will increase labour costs by as much as 627 PLN per month. In other words, employing young people may get 35 percent more expensive in an instant. Such a drastic increase may block entry into professional life for many young people. Rather than use the opportunity to gather first experiences and acquire competences, they will be doomed to unemployment – says Łukasz Kozłowski, expert of Employers of Poland.
Consequences of such a change would not be as serious, if not for the simultaneous introduction of a regulation applying a valorized minimum per hour wage of 13 PLN gross per hour, amounting to 2184 PLN per month, considering the average monthly workload. In recent years employment based on civil contracts has often been abused, but nonetheless it was a mitigating factor prevent increased unemployment resulting from a higher minimum wage.
Increasing the minimum wage for young people has little economic justification. Such employees gain experience and skills very quickly, therefore dynamically increasing their value on the labour market and the money they can expect to make. Thus, regulations pertaining to minimum wage should focus first and foremost on preventing long-term low wage trap, rather than block access to a start on the labour market, Moreover, it cannot be ruled out that these changes will make unpaid internships even more common.
Łukasz Kozłowski, economic expert of Employers of Poland