Variable payment schemes (VPS) are more widespread in banking and insurance than in other sectors, such as manufacturing. Irrespective of the sector concerned, however, profit-sharing, bonus and appraisal schemes do not, usually, refer to multi-employer agreements that govern other aspects of the remuneration system. Opening clauses, however, allow for the derogation of collective standards and/or the ability to make the level of bonuses contingent upon the firm’s performance. Whilst employers’ associations have, in general, called for the further extension of VPS within the framework of multi-employer collective agreements, unions are rather reluctant to replace regular wages, in part, by VPS.
Germany’s Minimum Wage Act accords a Minimum Wage Commission the task of deciding on a biennial adjustment to the minimum wage. While including an overall assessment, their decision is to be oriented on the development of collective wages.
In many countries, a paradigm shift in minimum wage policy is discussed, or it has been implemented already. Instead of protecting employees from exploitation as a lower safety line, the minimum wage is intended to provide an adequate standard of living - if ...