The fact that the new Interprofessional Minimum Wage (ISW) increase for 2023, scheduled for January of this year, was not announced or approved just seven days before the end of the month, will make it difficult for workers to see it on their payrolls. Trade unions and labor lawyers warn about this, assuring that companies often resist wage increases lower retroactively, even if required by law.

Similarly, agencies warn that payroll this month closed or almost closed, and will soon be sent to the company. Typically, the government tends to negotiate a minimum wage increase in December and approve it in the same month, before the end of the year, so that companies apply the increase on their January payrolls.

But in recent years, the increase came a little later: last year, the minimum wage was not set until February 22; in 2021, it entered the Bank of England only on September 28, and in 2020 even a little later than usual, on February 4, although the pandemic has not yet broken out.

In this case, the measure takes a similar course as there is no news on the matter a few days after the end of January. CCOO general secretary Unai Sordo protested the matter on Monday: “This needs to be resolved immediately. [la subida del SMI] because the payrolls should already be up to date.”

“About 80% of companies do not update the minimum wage until the worker claims it, and then they say, “Oh, sorry!”, they update it and don’t pay the accrued debt,” says CNT Valencia labor lawyer Antonio Ruiz. “This is a common thing, there is always resistance to raising the minimum wage,” sources from the Acción Sindical de Comisiones Obreras (CCOO) also note.

“Of course, January payrolls are closed or nearly closed in all companies,” says UGT confederation secretary Fernando Luján, who is more optimistic that it is reaching workers. He hopes that with Social Security’s contribution database data, attention will be drawn to companies that do not raise the minimum wage in accordance with the law, and will identify which companies do not pay fees in accordance with the minimum wage.

But postponing the minimum wage increase This will hurt, first of all, those workers whose contracts end this month.. CCOO believes that it is difficult for employees who have already signed a settlement agreement and therefore ended their relationship with the company to receive this amount. At CNT, on the other hand, they believe that this possibility exists because of a “legal loophole”, but since these are such small amounts, it is difficult for them to do so legally, as it would not be worth the time and money to invest. during.

How to state it

In the event that a company does not update a minimum wage worker’s wage when the government increases it, labor lawyers remember that the worker has the right to claim it. First, they advise to notify the company in writing so that they can change wages and pay the debt, and in case this does not take effect, they urge them to initiate a lawsuit, which will begin with the submission preparation of documents for conciliation at the Service of Arbitration and Conciliation (SMAC) your autonomous community.

Workers have one year to meet these requirements, so if the government approves a new minimum wage increase next week and the company doesn’t update the amount for their workers, they can legally claim it before December of this year if, through the intermediation of their autonomous communities.

SMI talks postponed

However, this approach is optimistic. For now, the government has not decided how much to raise the minimum wage, and unions no longer expect it to do so before the end of January. In December, Labor convened the main workers’ and employers’ organizations to consult with them on the matter, as required by the Constitution, and both sides expressed their position.

Unions UGT and CCOO asked to increase it to 1,100 euros per month in 14 payments, compared to the current gross of 1,000 euros per month. For their part, CEOE and Cepyme offered to raise it to 1040 euros, but on the condition that, among other requirements, it would include deductions for agriculture. After that, the Ministry of Labor no longer called social agents.

There is no date yet for a new meeting, although the parties expect it to take place. Latest news, this Monday when Yolanda Diaz has told the media that she is in favor of taking it “towards the high section”., i.e. up to 1082 euros recommended by the committee of experts. But she did not specify when this increase would be implemented or why the decision was delayed, although she herself insisted on the month of January. “Of course, we are going to raise the GIMS, without a doubt (…) This is the best and most effective measure to improve job security,” he limited himself to an assurance.

The government is not obliged to negotiate with social agents to increase the minimum wage, but only to consult with them, so the delay is incomprehensible. The delay may be related to divisions within the government however, the Ministry of Economy bet on lower growth than the Ministry of Labor, as has happened on previous occasions.

These differences already showed up in the experts’ own report on the SMI hike that Labor circulated to the media, in which the Economy included an appendix pointing to an increase to 1,030 euros, even below the 1,046 euros that the experts recommended as the minimum increase in the same study. What social agents now fear is that the economy is seeking to link the minimum wage to overall price increases, which is a much more open and long-term negotiation.