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Original text on minimum monthly wage for young wage-earners differs from labor ministry’s translation

By S. Papapetros

A “lost in the translation” instance has apparently arisen in a text submitted by an experts’ committee to the Greek labor ministry, and specifically on the issue of a minimum monthly wage for newly hired young adults. 

The original text, in English, cites a specific proposal to link remuneration of young adults with their workplace experience, while offering specific percentages in relation to the current minimum salary, which is 586 euros. The English text uses the term “subminimum”.

Specifically, a passage on page 41 of the report envisions a “subminimum” wage at 90 percent of the current level, gross pay, for the first year of employment; 95 percent for the second year of employment.

The passage, in the original, reads: 

«Recommendation 6: The youth subminimum wage will be replaced by a subminimum experience rate of 90% in the first year of work experience and 95% in the second year of work experience. Apprentices and students in internships of up to three months which are formalized in their curricula are exempted. The social partners decide on the pertinent subminimum wages and their increases».

The translation circulated by the ministry, in Greek, nevertheless first cites “differences between members of the committee over the issue of a minimum month wage for young adults, before stating the following for point 6, on page 31:

“… The aforementioned system for a minimum wage must be reviewed after two years. Another member (of the committee) proposed the continuance of the minimum (monthly) wage for the young with the current age limits.”