The general agreement on minimal wage in the construction sector states that the minimum gross wage is to reach EUR 780 and hourly rate – EUR 4.67 – in the entire industry in Latvia. The agreement also outlines to option to receive 5% bonus if the employed person has appropriate education, which guarantees a wage of EUR 820, as reported by Latvian Construction Contractors Partnership.
“Raising minimal wages is a very important step towards helping the construction industry exit from grey economy,” said Latvian Construction Contractors Partnership head Baiba Blodniece. “The signed General Agreement will not only exclude price dumping offers from public procurements and promote fair competition among companies, but it will also secure social guarantees for workers, because employers will be forced to pay wages fairly.”
Economy Minister Ralfs Nemiro comments: “The comprehensive general agreement in the construction sector is an agreement for a considerable increase of minimal wages, which means higher social protection and social guarantees for people employed in the construction sector. At the same time, it is an example of successful dialogue in Latvia and a step towards self-regulation by the industry, which, in turn, will help promote honest competition in the industry.”
The general agreement applies to all employers who perform operations in Latvia’s construction sector – those who have signed the agreement and those who have not.
In addition to the increased minimal wages, the general agreement also provides a bonus of no less than 50% of their wage for overtime work.
Minimal monthly wage for students in the first six months is planned to be EUR 546. The agreement also provides for extending the six-month work time review period to 12 months. According to estimates from the Latvian Construction Contractors Partnership, changes will directly affect more than 30,000 people.
Companies will have an opportunity to use a transition period by May 2, 2020, setting minimal monthly wage at EUR 650 and minimal hourly rate at EUR 3.89. In the event of companies using the transition period, the summed work time period is 3 months.
Latvian Construction Contractors Partnership’s vice-chairman Martins Dunskis noted: “From November 3 onward minimal wage in the construction sector has been increased from EUR 430 to EUR 780. Whether or not wages are paid fairly depends on each person employed in the sector individually. If the industry’s minimal amount is breached, which is unacceptable, I urge people to report this to authorities.” (BNN/Business World Magazine)