Countries With The Highest Minimum Wage 2024

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Minimum Wage refers to the lowest amount an employee can receive from their employer. While some countries have a pretty low minimum wage, some others pay pretty high.

Here are the countries with the highest minimum wage.

Minimum Wage

High Minimum Wage Countries in the World

Minimum wages can also be one element of a policy to overcome poverty and reduce inequality between men and women.

Opponents of minimum wage believe it increases poverty, increases unemployment because low-wage workers cannot find work, and damages businesses because the wage requirements will cause businesses to raise the prices of their products and service to accommodate labour costs.

Minimum wage is the lowest salary or payment for work that employers can legally compensate their workers for the price floor below which workers may not sell their labour.

Supporters of minimum wage argue the opposite, saying that it increases the standard of living for workers, reduces poverty, reduces inequality, and boosts employee morale.

More Information

Minimum wages were first called for to stop the exploitation of workers in sweatshops and then came to be seen to help lower-income families. Most countries had introduced minimum wage legislation by the end of the 20th century.

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.

What are Minimum Wage Policies?

Minimum wage laws set the lowest hourly rate an employer can legally pay certain workers. The federal minimum wage is currently $7.25 per hour.

Where states and municipalities have enacted their own higher minimum wage laws, employers must pay at least the state or local minimum

Minimum wages can be calculated hourly, daily, weekly, monthly, or even yearly. The minimum wages of most countries are calculated hourly, i.e. the lowest wage a worker receives per hour.

Because most of these countries are in Europe, it is easily admissible that Europe is the continent with the best wage structures in the world.

High Minimum Wage countries

Here we have a compilation of the high minimum wage countries in the world.

1. Australia

Australia maintains the world’s highest minimum wage. As stipulated by the Fair Work Commission under the Australian federal government, they estimate the hourly minimum wage in Australia 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 in.

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, they fixed the minimum wage at $6.73 per hour. As a fraction, this makes up only 36.8% of the minimum wage for Australian employees 21 or above.

2. Luxembourg

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 maintains 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, with an underaged skilled worker (precisely an adolescent), the minimum wage is marked down by a 20% to 25% decrease.

3. Belgium

Belgium has the third-highest minimum wage in the world. Effective as of April 1, 2013, each Belgian employee, 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 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 22 years old with a 12-month work duration receives the monthly minimum wage of $1,738. Besides this wage, such an employee enjoys “extensive social benefits’’.

4. The Republic of Ireland

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.

5. France

France sits in the fifth position amongst the countries with the best minimum wage structures in the world. An employee in France receives a 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, 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 in the workweek.

In a workweek that covers 40 hours, the hourly minimum wage for an employee, 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, with 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. With employees 18-years-old or above, the hourly minimum wage is fixed at NZ$16.50.

8. Germany

Germany is one country 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.

Through common bargains, companies maintain the right to set greater minimum wages. Also, such bargains are legally suitable for implementation.

9. Canada 

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 a sign 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. The United Kingdom

The United Kingdom comprises several 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 we may subdivide it into several age grades. For workers 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.

With workers within the age grade of 21-24, they fix the minimum wage at £7.05 per hour, equivalent to $8.80. Last, each employee 25-years-old or above receives the hourly minimum wage of £7.50, which equals $9.36.

There you have them, “High Minimum Wage Countries” They are not only the finest but all of them are well planned and well-managed economies.

Summary of countries with the Highest Minimum Wage

The Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development developed a list of each country’s minimum wages. The ten countries with the highest minimum wages (in USD) are:

• Luxembourg ($13.78)

‣ Australia ($12.14)

• France ($11.66)

‣ New Zealand ($11.20)

• Germany ($10.87)

‣ Netherlands ($10.44)

‣ Belgium ($10.38)

• United Kingdom ($10.34)

‣ Ireland ($9.62)

• Canada ($9.52)

Luxembourg has the highest minimum wage in the world at $13.78 per hour. The minimum wage rises 20% for individuals classed as skilled workers (must be 18 or older) and decreases by 20-25% for individuals classed as adolescent workers (17-18 years old).

Salaries, wages, and minimum wage are all adjusted in line with the evolution of Luxembourg’s cost; therefore, if the consumer price index falls by a certain percentage, salaries are adjusted by the same percentage.

The minimum wage in the United States is $7.25 per hour, the 12th highest in the world. However, the states have the power to increase the federal minimum wage, as 29 of them did.

Many states have enacted or proposed legislation to accumulate the minimum wage by increments over the next several years to reach a specific wage. Therefore, the minimum wage in each state varies.

The federal minimum wage for tipped workers is $2.13 per hour, a minimum wage that states have also enacted their own legislation.

Minimum wage systems should be defined and designed in a way to supplement and reinforce other social and employment policies, including collective bargaining, which is used to set terms of employment and working conditions.

A Brief History of Minimum Wage

A minimum wage is the lowest wage that employers may legally pay to workers. The first minimum wage law was enacted in 1894 in New Zealand.

With passaging The Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 (FLSA), the U.S. minimum wage was initially set at $0.25 per hour for covered workers. Since then, it has been raised 22 separate times most recently, in July 2009, to $7.25 an hour.

FSLA provided several federal protections for the first time, including:

• payment of the minimum wage

‣ overtime pay for time worked over a set number of hours in a workweek

• restrictions on the employment of children

‣ record-keeping requirements

In 1938, the act applied to industries whose combined employment represented about 20 percent of the labour force. Coverage has been expanded over time, and the wage now covers approximately 130 million workers, or 84 per cent of the labour force.

Historically, the purpose of minimum wages has developed from a policy tool to be used selectively in a few low-wage sectors to an instrument of much broader coverage.

Minimum wages exist in over 90 percent of the International Labour Organisation’s (ILO) member states.

ILO Conventions Reflect Evolution:

• The Minimum Wage Fixing Machinery Convention, 1928 (No. 26). However, encourages countries to implement minimum wages where “no arrangements exist for the effective regulation of wages by collective agreement or otherwise and wages are exceptionally low”.

• The Minimum Wage Fixing Convention, 1970 (No. 131) called for coverage of “all groups of wage earners whose terms of employment are such that coverage would be appropriate”. The principle of full consultation with social partners lies at the heart of this Convention.

In defining a minimum wage, it’s therefore important to be specific about which they can count components of a wage in the minimum.

Also, the extent and conditions under which payment-in-kind can be allowed, how the minimum is calculated for workers with piece-rate pay, and if the minimum is an hourly and/or a monthly rate.

Frequently Asked Questions on Highest Minimum Wage Countries

Below are the frequently asked questions on High Minimum wage countries:

1. What is the Federal Minimum Wage?

Under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), the federal minimum wage for covered nonexempt employees is $7.25 per hour, effective July 24, 2009. Many states also have minimum wage laws.

2. What is the Minimum Wage for Workers Who Receive Tips?

An employer may pay a tipped employee not less than $2.13 an hour in direct wages. Therefore, if that amount plus the tips received equal, at least the federal minimum wage.
The employee keeps all tips and the employee customarily and regularly receives more than $30 a month in tips.

3. Can this Minimum Wage be paid to Young Workers?

A minimum wage of $4.25 per hour applies to young workers under the age of 20. However, during their first 90 consecutive calendar days of employment with an employer.
As long as their work does not displace other workers.

4. What Minimum Wage Exceptions Apply to Full-Time Students?

The Full-time Student Program is for full-time students employed in retail or service stores, agriculture, or colleges and universities.
Therefore, the employer that hires students can get a certificate from the Department of Labor, because it allows the student to be paid not less than 85% of the minimum wage.

5. What Minimum Wage Exceptions Apply to Student Learners?

This program is for high school students at least 16 years old who are enrolled in vocational education (shop courses).
The employer that hires the student can get a certificate from the Department of Labor, which also allows the student to be paid not less than 75% of the minimum wage.

6. How often does the Federal Minimum Wage Increase?

The minimum wage does not increase automatically. Therefore, Congress must pass a bill that the President signs into law in order for the minimum wage to go up.

7. Who Makes sure Workers are paid the Minimum Wage?

The Wage and Hour Division of the U.S. Department of Labor enforces the minimum wage. Using both enforcement and public education efforts.
The Wage and Hour Division strives to ensure that workers are paid the minimum wage.

8. To Whom Does the Minimum Wage Apply?

The minimum wage law (the FLSA) applies to employees of enterprises that also have an annual gross volume of sales or business done of at least $500,000



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Hello readers, you are welcome to your info connect. My name is Emmanuel, I am a graduate Mechanical Engineer, a blogger, and Digital Marketer. I share educational and career information and content to enable viewers who are aiming for success to attain it in their various fields. I hope you enjoy your tour here.

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