Talks on the minimum wage level for 2018 will start today and should be completed by Sep 15, local media reported. Trade unions think that the minimum wage should be hiked by at least 10 to 15% because its current amount cannot cover the costs on the minimum consumer basket, President of trade union Nezavisnost Zoran Stojilkovic told the news agency Beta. He said that employers in the trade and services sector oppose the hike the most because they claim that with the current parafiscal charges they cannot withstand the costs of doing business. President of Serbian association of employers Nebojsa Atanackovic in his turn cited results of a recent poll showing that two-thirds of employers consider that the conditions are not ripe for an increase of the minimum wage and if this happens, it should be accompanied by tax breaks.
The current minimum wage stands at RSD130 per working hour. It was hiked by 7.4% as of Jan 1. If employers and trade unions fail to reach an agreement on the amount of the minimum wage for next year, the government will make the decision. President Aleksandar Vucic said a couple of days ago that the minimum wage will be hiked by 8-9%, noting that this will affect 346,000 people with the lowest earnings.