Eighty per cent of companies are against an increase of the minimum wage next year, whereas only 15% are ready to accept the increase, but only with substantially reduced operating costs.
This is the result of the survey among employers carried out last week by the Serbian Association of Employers. The position is considerably different than last year, when 46% of those surveyed found an increase of the minimum wage acceptable. This reflects the worsened business conditions as a consequence of the Covid-19 crisis.
Employers see a solution in reduced operating costs, proportional lowering of taxes and contributions, increase of non-taxable salary components and reduction of fiscal and parafiscal charges. This would enable a sustainable growth of salaries in the private sector, as companies would be less burdened and the increase of salaries would not have an impact on their competitiveness. In the short term, the reduction of budget revenues as a consequence of this solution would be covered by increased consumption, stabilization of the crisis, growth of employment and growth of the number of business entities and entrepreneurs, the Association says on its website.
The survey covered representatives of 133 business entities, which employ a total of 16,134 workers, and three associations of entrepreneurs, with 1,935 employers employing around 5,800 workers.
In July, the Association of Serbian Employers traditionally realizes consultations with and surveys among employers, aiming to present an overview of companies' position on the issue of the minimum wage in Serbia. Negotiations with representatives of the Government of Serbia and trade unions begin in August, and in September, the minimum wage for 2021 is to be considered within the Social-Economic Council of the Republic of Serbia.