The minimum wage in the country for the next year could increase up to 5000 lei. Trade unionists insist on 5850 lei.
Members of the National Commission for Consultations and Collective Bargaining (CNCNC) met on Friday, 10 November 2023, to address a series of key issues. Among the topics considered were the courts of labour disputes, the revision and updating of Law No. 270/2018 on the unitary system of wages in the budgetary sector, the optimization of social taxes, the minimum wage in the country, and the establishment of the right to retirement under advantageous conditions for the earners.
At the proposal of the CNSM, an important issue addressed by the members of the tripartite committee represented the labour dispute resolution courts. In the case of individual labour disputes and collective labour disputes, the Labour Code of the Republic of Moldova sets a specific time limit for their settlement in the courts, i.e. a maximum of 30 working days. However, the practice accumulated by the courts shows that the time limit for settling individual labour disputes exceeds by far the period set by law, even more than 36 months.
In order to improve the situation and to make the mechanism for settling labour disputes more efficient, the CNSM has proposed various solutions to the Parliament of the Republic of Moldova and to the Ministry of Justice, such as the creation of courts such as labour tribunals or specialised labour dispute panels. Another efficient mechanism for the settlement of individual labour disputes, considered by the CNSM and proposed to the Parliament of the Republic of Moldova, is the one based on the Lithuanian experience, which in fact represents an out-of-court settlement process.
According to trade unionists, the adoption of an efficient mechanism for the settlement of individual labour disputes would lead to the following: the simplification of the procedure and reduction of the settlement time, the reduction of the settlement costs, the improvement of the quality of labour judgments, ensuring the respect of the rights and interests of both employees and employers, and to the reduction of the number of cases and the excessive length of their settlement.
With reference to the revision and updating of the content of Law 270/2018 on the unitary salary system in the budgetary sector, the trade unionists noted that this year they submitted to the Ministry of Finance a voluminous package of proposals aimed at improving the salary system in the budgetary sector, establishing a single reference value to ensure fairness for employees.
Moreover, the issue of raising the minimum wage in the country was addressed, on which the CNSM has repeatedly insisted during the meetings of the tripartite commission, proposals reiterated at the meeting of 10 November 2023. In this respect, the representatives of the Ministry of Finance said they would propose to set the minimum wage at 5000 lei for the country starting with 2024. However, the trade unions reiterated the need to raise the minimum wage in the country from 2024, which, according to the CNSM, should be 5850 lei. The subject will be examined at the CNCNC meeting on 12 December 2023. It should be noted that as of 1 January 2023, the minimum wage in the country has been increased to only 4000 lei.
The participants of the meeting also discussed the draft law on the optimization of the wage fund burden, which sets out the principles and actions that can be put at the discretion of Moldovan employers to optimize the burden imposed on them by the legislation in relation to the wage fund. According to the representatives of the Employers’ Association, the aim of this law is to reduce undeclared work and the payment of “envelope wages”, and consequently to improve the situation in the national economy, as well as to increase the revenues to the state social insurance budget.
The video recording of the meeting of the National Commission for Consultations and Collective Bargaining on 10 November 2023 can be accessed here.