Here we did a compilation of the top 10 countries with the highest minimum wages in the world. There are over 180 countries in the world and this poses slight difficulties in finding out the countries with the best wage structures. Owing to that, minimum wage standards have become the easiest yardsticks in determining the countries with the best wage structures in the world.
By “minimum wage’’, governments fix the lowest wages companies can pay their employees. This is very important to prevent such companies from exploiting their workers or paying them relatively meagre wages.
The criteria for determining minimum wages vary from one country to another. Some countries make use of age-grades while others consider many other factors including work duration and formal expertise amongst others.
While calculating a country’s minimum wage, it is worthy to note that the final estimate doesn’t include taxes, annual leave, sick pay, employees’ social insurance contributions, public holidays and several other contributions depending on the specified country. Therefore, the minimum wage is basically regarded as the “gross amount’’ i.e. the actual sum before any deductions are made.
Minimum wages can be calculated hourly, daily, weekly, monthly or even on a yearly basis. In general, the minimum wages of most countries are calculated hourly i.e. the lowest wage a worker receives per hour.
As to the focal point of this write-up, we have compiled a list containing the Top 10 Countries with the Highest Minimum Wages in the World. Owing to the fact that most of these countries are situated in Europe, it is easily admissible that Europe is the continent with the best wage structures in the world.
Top 10 Countries with the Highest Minimum Wages in the World
Australia maintains the world’s highest minimum wage. As stipulated by the Fair Work Commission under the Australian federal government, the hourly minimum wage in Australia is estimated at $18.29 which is equivalent to the weekly minimum wage of $694.90.
Basically, many Australian employees work based on an `award’ which is usually determined by an employee’s location, age and the industry he works under. Meanwhile, the stated minimum wage (of $18.29 per hour) applies to Australian workers who have aged at least 21 and are not under an `award’ or `agreement’. As fixed by the Australian government, the minimum wage of Australian employees below the age of 21and working under no `award’ is less than the normal minimum wage of the country.
For Australian employees below the age of 16, the minimum wage is fixed at $6.73 per hour. As a fraction, this makes up only 36.8% of the minimum wage for Australian employees who are 21 or above.
In terms of GDP per capita, Luxembourg is one of the wealthiest countries both in Europe and the entire world. Under the influence of political stability, economic development and favourable national standards, Luxembourg maintain the second-highest minimum wage in the world.
Effective as of January 1, 2018, unskilled employees above the age of 18 in Luxembourg receive the minimum wage of €11.5525. Monthly, this amounts to the minimum wage of €1,998.59. Meanwhile, a skilled worker within that age grade enjoys a 20% increase in the minimum wage. However, in the case of an underaged skilled worker (precisely an adolescent), the minimum wage is marked down by a 20% to 25% decrease.
Belgium has the third-highest minimum wage in the world. Effective as of April 1, 2013, each Belgian employee, who is 21 years old or above, receives the minimum wage of $10.16 per hour. On a monthly basis, this amounts to the minimum wage of $1,673. But for an employer who is 21 and a half years old and has spent the work duration of 6 months, the minimum monthly wage is slightly increased to $1,718.
A Belgian employee who is 22 years-old with a 12-month work duration receives the monthly minimum wage of $1,738. In addition to this wage, such an employee enjoys “extensive social benefits’’.
Effective as of January 1, 2018, Ireland maintains the hourly minimum wage of €9.55 including sub-minimal rates for employees below the age of 18. An employee below the age of 18 receives 70% of the official minimum wage of €9.55 per hour while an employee above 18 receives 80% of €9.55 ( the minimum wage per hour) during his first year of service. In the second year of service, there is a 10% increase from the initial 80%. Therefore, such a worker –above the age of 18 –receives a minimum hourly wage equivalent to 90% of €9.55. Also in some kinds of training, an Irish worker receives a minimum wage ranging from 75% to 90% of the hourly official minimum –€9.55.
France sits in the fifth position amongst the countries with the best minimum wage structures in the world. An employee in France receives the minimum wage of €9.88 per hour. On a monthly basis, this amounts to the minimum wage of €1,498.47.
6. THE NETHERLANDS
The Netherlands is a kingdom, across the North Sea, situated in the North West of Europe. Formerly a colony under Spain, The Netherlands became independent from the latter in the 15th century. Alternatively known as Holland, The Netherlands is one of the original members who founded the European Union. In 1948, The Netherlands joined forces with the duo of Luxembourg and Belgium and established the Benelux customs union.
Effective as of January 1, 2018, The Netherlands maintains a systematic minimum wage which usually depends on the number of work hours contained in the workweek. In a workweek that covers 40 hours, the hourly minimum wage for an employee, who is 22 years old or above, is €9.11. Meanwhile, this amounts to the minimum wages of €72.83 and €364.15 daily and weekly respectively. On a monthly basis, the total becomes €1,578.00.
For a workweek that covers less than 40 hours, the hourly minimum wage is greater. Also in the case of a worker who is within the age grade of 15-22 years, the minimum wage varies from 30 to 85% of the official minimum wage of €9.11 per hour.
7. NEW ZEALAND
New Zealand is an independent dominion with membership in the Commonwealth. Its territory stretches across two main islands namely the South Island and the North Island and other notable islands including the Chatham Islands and Stewart Island. New Zealand is recognized for its vast exportation of meat, wool and dairy products.
New Zealand boasts of the seventh-highest minimum wage in the world. Basically, workers below the age of 16, have no regulatory minimum wage. Effective as of April 1, 2017, an employee under training or within the age of 16 or 17, receives the hourly minimum wage of NZ$12.60. In the case of employees who are 18-years-old or above, the hourly minimum wage is fixed at NZ$16.50.
Germany is one of the countries in the central region of Europe. Considered a member of the European Union, Germany is one of the most powerful European countries in terms of GDP growth and technological advancement. Precisely, the country has made its mark in technology by housing important auto brands including Volkswagen.
Effective as of January 1, 2017, Germany’s official minimum wage is fixed at €8.84 per hour. But through common bargains, companies maintain the rights to set greater minimum wages. Also, such bargains are legally suitable for implementation.
Canada is one of the highly developed countries in North America. In the world, Canada takes the second position amongst the largest countries. Extremely endowed with natural resources, Canada is a member state of the Common Wealth and the two most dominant languages in the country are English and French.
Besides its political stability, Canada is admired for its impressive college education and this has attracted visitors from many parts of the world. Canada’s presence on this list is an indication that Canadian employees are rewarded beautifully. Effective as of January 1, 2018, Canada’s minimum wage varies from C$10.85 TO C$14 per hour. Notably, every Canadian territory or province decides the minimum amount it pays to its workers and this is actually why Canada has a variable minimum wage.
10. UNITED KINGDOM
The United Kingdom comprises a number of independent states centrally organized under a monarchical ruler known as the Queen of England. The minimum wage in the United Kingdom is quite elaborate as it may be subdivided into several age grades. For workers who are 19 years old or above but in the first year of service, the hourly minimum wage is fixed at £3.50 which equals $4.37. Notably, the same hourly minimum wage applies to apprentices who are within the age grade of 16-18 years. For employees below the age of 18, the hourly minimum wage is fixed at £4.05 which equals $5.05. For workers within the age grade of 18-20, there is an hourly minimum wage of £5.60 which equals $6.99. In the case of workers within the age grade of 21-24, the minimum wage is fixed at £7.05 per hour –equivalent to $8.80. Lastly, each employee who is 25-years-old or above receives the hourly minimum wage of £7.50 which equals $9.36.
There you have them, “Top 10 Countries With The Highest Minimum Wages In The World” They are not only the finest but all of them are the well planned and well-managed economy.
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