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Entitlement to a minimum wage

A minimum wage is the lowest wage a worker may receive. For a child to be entitled to it, sometimes certain age requirements apply.


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Key aspects

  • In thirteen EU Member States (Austria, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czechia, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia and Spain), no age requirement is set.
  • The age requirement is set at 16 years in the United Kingdom and 18 years in Germany. In Germany, however, in exceptional cases, workers below the age of 18 who have finished vocational training are entitled to a minimum wage.
  • In Greece, France, Ireland, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Poland and Portugal children are entitled to a minimum wage, but this is lower than the regular minimum wage. They are entitled to it as soon as they can legally access the labour market.
  • Minimum wages depend on collective agreements in Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Italy and Sweden. In Finland, minimum wages for children are usually lower than minimum wages of adults.

The data explorer also provides information on the age at which children are entitled to unemployment services and benefits, which is often higher than the age at which they can access the labour market on a full-time basis.

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Publication date: 19 October 2018

Minimum age requirements concerning children's rights in the EU - Specific data on social rights, employment, education, alternative care, LGBTI and mobility (406.5 KB)