While Portugal’s business leaders are baulking at government plans to raise the country’s minimum wage – one of the lowest in Europe – to €530, low-cost supermarket giant Lidl has just announced it will be increasing its lowest salaries to €600 a month, as of January 1. “Human resources are our principal capital and we want them to know they can count on this company,” said Lidl’s boss for Portugal Afroditi Pampa.
It is news that comes on the same day that Económico website claims business leaders are “insisting” on a minimum national wage below the €530 set by the government.
António Saraiva, president of CIP – the confederation of Portuguese industries – adds that even so his colleagues will want financial quid pro quos to balance out any new outlay on salaries.
Portugal’s national minimum wage is currently set at €505 per month – a sum that compromises endless families and is the fifth lowest in Europe, behind the Baltic states of Estonia, Lithuania and Latvia, and the central European country of Slovakia.
But happily for staff at Lidl – this year celebrating 20 years in Portugal – bosses see the worth of their employees and consider next year’s raise a way of showing that growth “and success is the fruit of our extraordinary teams”.
The 5.26% increase will benefit all those in the company’s 24o national outlets that are in their first year of employment, explained the company – adding that Lidl has always paid over and above Portugal’s national minimum wage.