Whether you are working in your home country or planning to migrate to another country to stay and work, it’s vital that you know about minimum wage rates. This is because in developed countries, it is illegal for companies or government agencies to pay below minimum wage.
The minimum wage policies and laws do not permit workers to accept jobs below the minimum wage because it can lead to economic challenges. A worker has legal rights to report any company or government agency that pays below the minimum wage rates set by the government. Any worker who fails to do so is also guilty of violating labor laws.
There are several factors that determine the minimum wage of a country, but before we proceed, let’s have a thorough understanding of the term minimum wage.
Understanding Minimum Wage
According to the International Labour Organization (ILO)-, “Minimum wages have been defined as the minimum amount of remuneration that an employer is required to pay wage earners for the work performed during a given period, which cannot be reduced by collective agreement or an individual contract.”
Over 90 countries of the World accept and implement this minimum wage definition by the International Labour Organization. Some countries pay higher minim wages than others far beyond the standard set by the ILO. Other economically fragile and poor countries with fewer industries and job opportunities cannot meet up the minimum wage standard set by the International labor organization.
Some take into consideration job security, cost of living, climatic conditions, account relocation, medical benefits, and other factors.
Usually, employers are expected to pay at least the minimum wage or slightly above it. The most important thing to note is that employers cannot pay below the minimum wage set by the government.
The minimum wage permitted by law can be set by resolution, a compensation board, a pay committee, choices of an equipped position, modern work court, or councils.
The minimum wage laws are set to prevent organizations from taking advantage of workers. They guarantee that all workers are evenly treated based on their level of expertise and unique contribution to the growth of the organization.
Given the above facts, let’s consider some of the countries with the highest minimum wages in the World. However, you must note a lot of factors go into consideration while calculating the minimum wage, such as the cost of living. Therefore, you need to consider your cost of living before accepting any minimum wage job.
In this article, we present to you the best 10 countries with the most elevated minimum wage permitted by law and their compensation.
At US$12.10 per hour, Australia stands as the country with the highest minimum wage for workers. This $12.10 indicates the actual take-home pay and not gross income before taxation. All employers in Australia must pay this minimum wage under the law or face legal action.
Australia maintains the world record as the country with the highest minimum wage. As fixed by the Fair Work Commission under the Australian Federal Government, the minimum wage in Australia is estimated at $18.29 (including taxes and other charges), which is equivalent to the weekly minimum wage of $694.90.
Most Australian workers work based on an Award system, which is mostly determined by an employee’s industry, age, and location.
It is worthy to note that the stated minimum wage of $18.29 per hour applies only to Australian workers who are at least 21 years of age and are not under any form of `agreement’ or `award.’ The minimum wage for Australian workers below the age of 16 is set at $6.73 per hour.
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Luxembourg is one of the wealthiest countries in the World in terms of Gross Domestic Product per capita. It is a small country in Western Europe. Based on economic development, political stability, and national standards, Luxembourg maintains the standard as the country with the second-highest minimum wage in the World.
As of January 1, 2018, unskilled employees above the age of 18 receive a minimum wage of €11.5525 per hour. This amount sums up to €1,998.59 per month. Skilled and professional employees within that age range enjoy a 20% increase in that minimum wage.
Luxembourg is a country with advanced technology and economy; it has the highest Gross Domestic Product per capita in the World. It shares land borders with countries like Belgium, Germany, and France. The average annual minimum wage is $60,369
Top industries in the country include tourism, biotechnology, chemicals, cargo transportation, engineering, telecommunications, information technology, aluminum, glass, metals, steel, construction, real estate services, banking, and financial services.
Belgium ranks as the third-best country with the highest minimum wage. The Belgian government set the average minimum wage at $10.40 per hour. Belgian employers are obliged to pay employers this said amount or slightly above it. This is a very reasonable amount considering the cost of living in Belgium is relatively lower than other European Union states. On a monthly basis, the minimum wage amounts to $1,673. Belgian employers who are above 22 years receive remunerations slightly above the minimum wage set by the government.
Although considered as a weakling in the European Union due to its relatively smaller economy, Ireland’s minimum wage stands at $9.60 per hour. This is because of certain similarities between the Labour laws of Ireland and the UK.
For employees below 18 years of age, Ireland maintains an hourly minimum wage of €9.55, including other sub-minimal rates.
Employees below the age of 18 receive 70% of the standard minimum wage while those above the age of 18 receive 70% of the standard minimum wage.
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France is the fifth country in the World with the highest and best minimum wage structure. An average employee in France receives a minimum wage of €9.88 per hour. On a monthly basis, this amount sums up to €1,498.47.
Learn about Study and Work in France.
- THE NETHERLANDS
The Netherlands is also known as Holland and based on the United Nations World Happiness Report, it is ranked as the sixth-best country in the World with the highest minimum wage. The country has a good public education system, universal basic healthcare, and infrastructure. The average minimum wage of employees in the Netherlands stands at $50,670 per annum and a minimum wage of $5.78 per hour.
- NEW ZEALAND
New Zealand has a self-sustaining economy and is one of the best destinations for highly professional migrants. The average minimum wage for workers is $10.10 per hour. Therefore all employers are obliged to pay workers this amount or slightly above the range. The country enjoys a slightly better ranking compared to other European countries because the cost of living and taxation is relatively low.
Germany is regarded as the powerhouse economy of the European Union. The minimum wage in Germany stands at $10.90 per hour. This minimum wage does not mean that Germans are stingy paymasters. The amount is sufficient enough to allow any average worker to lead a decent life because the government provides lots of free benefits to all citizens.
- UNITED KINGDOM
The United Kingdom consists of a number of independent states united and centrally organized under a monarchial system of governance under the Queen of England. The minimum wage in the UK is quite complex, as it can be subdivided into several age grades. Workers who are 19 years and above enjoy a minimum wage of $4.37 per hour in their first year of service. Apprentices who are between the ages grade of 16-18 years also enjoy that rate. Employees below the age of 18 have a fixed minimum wage of $5.05 per hour. Workers within the age grade of 18-20 enjoy a minimum wage of $6.99 per hour. Consequently, workers within the age grade of 21-24 years have a minimum wage of $8.80 per hour. All employees above 25 years receive an hourly minimum wage of $9.36.
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Canada sets the world record as the 10th best country with the highest minimum wage. It is one of the most developed countries in North America. Canada is a member state of the Common Wealth and is highly endowed with Natural resources.
Asides from political stability, Canada is recognized as one of the best study destinations for international students. Canadian employees are rewarded handsomely. As of January 1, 2016, the standard minimum wage in Canada varies from C$10.85 TO C$14 per hour. However, every Canadian province decides the actual minimum wage it pays workers. This is the main reason why Canada has a variable minimum wage. Every employer and government agency is obliged to pay the standard minimum wage set by the government.
Conclusively, Government fixes the minimum wage companies can pay employees by minimum wage policy. This policy is very important because it helps prevent companies and government agencies from exploiting their workers or paying them relatively low wages.
The criteria for determining minimum wages vary from one country to another. Some countries consider factors such as duration, expertise to determine minimum wage while others use age grades.
Also, you must note that while calculating the minimum wage of a country, the final amount does not include taxes, annual leave, employees” social insurance contributions.
Therefore minimum wage is generally regarded as a gross amount, that is, the actual sum before deductions are made.
Minimum wages can generally be calculated hourly, daily, weekly, monthly, or annually. In general, the minimum wage of most countries is calculated hourly. That is the minimum amount a worker is expected to receive per hour.
There you have them,” the Top 10 countries with the highest minimum wage in the World.” Leave a comment below to let us know if this post was helpful