Job ads should inform about basic salary


One of the proposal’s authors from the Smer coalition voted in May against a similar proposal authored by opposition deputies

In Slovakia it is not polite to ask somebody about his or her salary. When recruiting new workers companies do not commonly reveal the exact sums their future employees would receive in the offered positions. The latter should change since a trio of coalition Smer deputies have proposed making the publishing of the basic wage in job ads obligatory. Labour market experts expect that the new duty will lead to an increase of wages. Employers do not like the idea and add that for companies it would be easy to avoid this duty.

“It is populist nonsense impossible to implement in real life,” said Rastislav Machunka, vice-president of the Federation of Employers’ Unions (AZZZ), as quoted by the Hospodárske Noviny economic daily. “Companies will bypass it. For example, they will publish a range of the basic wage from E500 to E5,000 in the job ad.”

It was the trio of Smer deputies Ján Podmanický, Martin Glváč and Ľubomír Petrák who proposed the change within a revision of the Labour Code. Apart from this new duty the revision increases surcharges for night, weekend and holiday work. If adopted, the new duty should become effective as of May 2018.

The new duty should increase employees’ knowledge about the value of their work and thus increase pressure on the faster growth of wages.

Michal Páleník, director of the Employment Institute, expects this change in the Labour Code to reflect wages workers receive.

“The first consequence will be the increase of employee wages in positions for which companies are searching for new workers,” said Páleník, pointing to the phenomenon that due to the lack of qualified labour, newcomers sometimes get more money than people working in the same positions for a longer period of time.

It also happens in some companies that people working in the same positions receive different remuneration but since the employer prohibits workers from talking about wages among themselves, they do not have any justification to ask for a raise.

The second proposal

This is already the second attempt in recent times to oblige companies to publish wages for offered jobs. In April, the opposition deputies Miroslav Beblavý and Jozef Mihál submitted a similar proposal to parliament. It did not win enough support when one of the submitters of the new revision, Martin Glváč, also voted against it.

Labour Minister Ján Richter liked the idea of the opposition’s proposal, but did not like how it was written from the legal point of view. He did not discuss possible changes with its authors, arguing that first a deeper discussion of social partners was needed.

No such discussion has taken place so far. Moreover, the fact that the latest revision of the Labour Code is being proposed by a group of deputies means that it will not go through a traditional inter-departmental review during which all involved parties can comment on the draft bill.

Companies are against it

Employers see no problem when publishing wages for blue-collar professions. But for other positions final wages and other conditions are agreed upon during negotiations between the employer and the worker.

“For example, mothers can do agood job, but they need some flexibility and so they are willing to work for less,” said Machunka.

Lucia Langová, spokesperson of the Kaufland retail chain in Slovakia, added that for job applicants the situation after basic wages are published might be confusing.

“The information about basic wages is only partial information because workers receive, along with the basic wage, various benefits, either financial or non-financial,” Langová told Hospodárske Noviny.

More companies disclose remuneration

In the time being companies are not obliged to disclose remuneration in their jobs ads. But the practice has shown that a published salary increases the chance of somebody responding to a recruitment campaign. Based on the data of the biggest job portal, a published salary increases the number of applicants by 10 percent. The website has already registered that more companies are disclosing wages in their ads. Their number increased from 28 percent in 2016 to 31 percent this year.

Nikola Richterová of warns that an offered remuneration that is too low may distract applicants. Companies may save time in this way because people not willing to work for such a wage would not respond to such an ad. On the other hand, when witholding information about the offered wage till a job interview, a company may increase its offer in case of a smart and experienced applicant, Richterová told the Nový Čas daily.

Jana Glasová, analyst at Poštová Banka, believes that publishing information about the basic wage may increase competition among companies when filling their vacancies and gaining suitable employees. Simultaneously this duty may help job seekers to become better oriented among job offers.

In recruitment campaigns newcomers to the Slovak labour market like Amazon or the British carmaker Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) have published exact wages, already including some benefits. These have pertained especially to blue collar workers.

For entry-level associates Amazon offers hourly wages starting at E4.60 per hour plus a 20 percent bonus and 13th month salary.

The average monthly salary offered to blue collar workers at JLR ranges between E900 and E1,800, subject to the position. This is the average monthly income based on a yearly income. It includes a base salary, 13th salary, manufacturing bonus and transport allowance.

The Tesco retail chain recently recruited new workers when it attached job ads, including wages, right to its store shelves.

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