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New minimum wage from July 1

Until 2017, employees aged 23 and over were entitled to the full statutory minimum wage. If you were younger, you got a fixed percentage of that. Then the government decided to gradually lower that age to 21 years and to increase the fixed percentage. The first step was taken on 1 July 2017, and the second will follow on the same day in 2019. What are you entitled to at what age?

What changed in 2017? And what will change?

Until 2017, you were entitled to the full legal minimum wage if you were 23 or older. On July 1 of that year, the age was lowered to 22 years. In addition, 18-, 19-, 20- and 21-year-olds received a higher percentage of the minimum wage from that day on. The next step on July 1, 2019 will lower the age further to 21, and further increase the percentage for 18, 19 and 20 year olds. Lost the overview? Check the table.

Minimum wage step-by-step table

Reasons for this change

Why is the government lowering the age at which you are entitled to 100 percent of the legal minimum wage? Well, in part for these few reasons:

  • Parents' legal maintenance obligation for their child runs until the age of 21; after that, the child must provide for his or her own support.
  • Young people aged 21 and 22 are increasingly living on their own and have higher costs than peers who still live at home.
  • Employers increasingly base their employees' salary on education and experience, less on age. We see the youth wage scale disappear from more and more collective labor agreements.
  • Many 21-year-olds already have a diploma and work full-time.
  • A lower minimum wage is not in line with the 'equal work, equal pay' principle.
  • In many other countries, 21-year-olds are already entitled to a full legal minimum wage.

What do the changes mean for employers?

Employers face higher wage costs, which in turn poses dangers to the employment of young people. The government has tried to reduce this risk with a step-by-step reduction. This gives employers ample time to respond to the new situation. Moreover, in some situations it is possible to get part of the wage costs back through the 'low-income benefit' compensation scheme (LIV).

Table stupid minimum wage per month, week and day as of 1 July 2019



Do you have any questions about this? Contact the specialists of De Unie, they are happy to help you. Call or email us on 0345 851 963 or