After the rise of 34 euros on May 1, will the minimum wage rise again this year?

The evolution of the minimum wage takes into account the price index of the 20% poorest households. Given the acceleration of inflation for several months, further increases in the minimum wage cannot be ruled out.

Taking into account that inflationminimum salary will be updated on May 1 and will cross the bar of 1,300 euros net per month. This increase, which will directly benefit more than two million employees, will be 2.65% according to the Ministry of Labor. For a full-time job, the minimum monthly salary will be 1,645.58 euros gross. Net, it will reach 1,302.64 euros, an increase of 34 euros. The minimum gross hourly wage will drop from 10.57 to 10.85 euros.

This is the second increase in the minimum wage since the beginning of the year, after the january auto (+0.9%), and the third in seven months, the Smic having also revalued in October 2021 (+2.2%).

Are new increases in the minimum wage possible by the end of the year? To find out, let’s go back to the different scenarios that can, under the law, lead to an increase in the minimum wage. This can first increase every January 1 under an automatic revaluation that takes into account two indicators: the inflation (without tobacco) observed for the 20% of households with the lowest income and half of the gain in purchasing power of the median wage. per hour of workers and employees.

Revaluation during the year

According to article L3231-5 of the Labor Code, there is also an automatic revaluation of the minimum wage during the year when this same price index for the poorest 20% of households “reaches a level corresponding to an increase of at least 2 % in relation to the index observed when fixing the minimum wage of immediately previous growth”. However, since November 2021, when the January revaluation was decided, inflation in the first quintile has increased by 2.65%. Hence an increase in the minimum wage equivalent to May 1.

Given the acceleration of inflation in recent months (4.5% in March) and the persistence of rising energy prices and the war in Ukraine, further increases in the minimum wage are entirely possible by the end of the year. Especially since the price index for low-income households used to calculate the evolution of the Smic increases faster than the global index “taking into account the weight of energy and food in its composition”, he explained in mid- March Julien Pouget, head of the INSEE business cycle department.

On this point, France is an exception: “Of the 30 OECD countries with a minimum wage, only three provide for an automatic adjustment linked to inflation and only one – France – that provides for it to be repeated during ‘year'”, emphasizes the economist Gilbert Cette, president of the group of experts . about the Smic that must be consulted by the government before each increase.

Macron and Le Pen against an extra boost

In addition to these automatic revaluations, the government can, if it wishes, grant an additional increase in the minimum wage. Several unions are also asking for a much higher increase than the one provided for by the automatic raise on May 1. This is the case of Unsa, which claims a 10% increase. But both Emmanuel Macron and Marine Le Pen oppose such a push, which has not happened since the election of François Hollande in 2012 and, according to them, would penalize the employment of the least qualified.

Marine Le Pen wants to encourage companies to increase wages, exempting from contributions those that increase their employees by 10% earning the equivalent of less than three Smic. For his part, Emmanuel Macron wants to triple the bonus ceiling without social charges or taxes that companies can pay their employees.

Another consequence of this increase in the Smic, many branches will end up with minimum wages -defined by their collective agreements- again surpassed by the minimum wage. Of the 171 branches that serve more than 5,000 employees, 67 presented at the end of March, even before this revaluation, a grid with at least one coefficient lower than the Smic, according to the Ministry of Labor.

The CFDT demands that these branches trapped by the rise in the Smic be forced to open negotiations within a period of three months in order to continue benefiting from exemptions from social security contributions for wages below 1.6 Smic. The CGT proposes that each increase in the Smic give rise to an automatic revaluation of the minimums of the branch, to avoid a “crushing” of wages in the lower part of the grid.

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