The EU will not force a statutory minimum wage on countries such as Denmark following an outcry by Nordic member states over a threat to their century-old systems of collective bargaining.

A European commission consultation document on the directive, states that the traditional methods of employer-employee negotiation in high-salary member states will be exempt.

“EU action would not seek the introduction of a statutory minimum wage in countries with high coverage of collective bargaining and where wage setting is exclusively organised through it,” it said.