Does the minimum wage actually help workers?

Statutory minimum wage in Germany

The minimum wage has been widely discussed in the media in recent months and years. The pros and cons were discussed in detail again and again. With the August 16, 2014 this topic found its climax. On this date, the Minimum Wage Act (MiLoG) came into force and The minimum wage has been in place since January 1, 2015 (at that time it was € 8.50 gross per hour).

In a nutshell: minimum wage

What is the minimum wage?

The minimum wage was introduced in 2015 and is currently € 9.50 (as of January 2021) gross per hour.

Who is exempt from the minimum wage?

Although the minimum wage is generally applicable, there are still certain groups of people who are excluded from it. You can read here exactly which groups are involved.

Who decides on the level of the lower wage limit?

This task is incumbent on the so-called minimum wage commission. It consists of trade unions, employers and an independent chairman and usually decides every two years on a possible minimum wage increase.

Use the free minimum wage calculator!

Minimum wage development in Germany

Point in timeStatutory minimum wage per hour (gross)
July 1, 202210,45 €
January 1, 20229,82 €
July 1, 20219,60 €
January 1, 20219,50 €
20209,35 €
20199,19 €
20188,84 €
20178,84 €
20168,50 €
20158,50 €

Specific information on the minimum wage:

Minimum wage for temporary workers

Does the minimum wage law also apply to part-time workers?

Minimum wage for refugees

Are refugees in Germany also entitled to the minimum wage?

Minimum wage in training

Is there an entitlement to a minimum wage during the training period?

Minimum wage in the internship

When do interns receive the minimum wage and when are they not entitled to it?

Minimum wage in a mini job

Does the minimum wage also apply to marginal employment?

Minimum wage for temporary work

Do temporary workers get the minimum wage or not? We will inform you about this in the guide.

But what exactly is the content of the minimum wage? Which Exceptions is there? And does everyone really get the same?

A multitude of questions keep popping up in connection with the minimum wage. In the following we have put together a bunch of different information and answers about the minimum wage for you.

What is meant by the minimum wage?

First of all, the term “minimum wage” needs to be clarified. Below is that lowest legally permissible wage to understand that its height has been fixed. This scheme can by the state or by the collective bargaining parties respectively.

In general, there are different forms of minimum wage. Here the payment according to the hourly rate or the minimum wage as a monthly wage can be distinguished.

In addition to the national minimum wage, there are other manifestations: the regional, branch or occupation-specific variant.

A statutory minimum wage adapts itself if necessary automatically to the price and wage development or will determined by the legislature or a commission.

There is almost always two main motivations for a minimum wage. Workers who only have one low negotiating and representation power should own such a fee protected from possible exploitation by the employer become.

This is where the term plays "Wage dumping" an important role.

In addition, there should be a minimum wage Counteracting poverty despite work. The idea is that Employees can thus earn their own living can, without government grants or grants. In economic theory, the so-called Working poor spoken that should be prevented.

Wage dumping describes the Falling below a customary local as well as one collectively agreed wages. This can endanger the existence of employees. Wage dumping refers more to that Conduct of the employer than the low wage itself. Working poor is better known as In-work poverty. This is always spoken of when the person concerned is threatened by poverty or de facto poor despite having a job.

The minimum wage is anchored in the law

As already mentioned, the minimum wage has been found in the MiLoG again. There it says immediately in § 1:

  1. Every employee is entitled to a remuneration at least equal to the minimum wage from the employer.
  2. Since January 1, 2015, the gross minimum wage has been EUR 8.50 per hour. The amount of the minimum wage can be changed on the proposal of a standing commission of the collective bargaining partners (minimum wage commission) by ordinance of the federal government. "

Despite this general law, there were a few special provisions. Because the regulations governed by the Posted Workers Act and through that Temporary Employment Act were taken, had priority over the MiLoG.

There they were Industry minimum wages to find the the were allowed to fall below the statutory minimum wage in exceptional cases. This exception manifests itself in the fact that a Transition phase duration. Still by the end of 2017 industry minimum wages could fall below the general minimum wage. However, this was only true if the corresponding collective agreement declared generally binding by a statutory ordinance has been.

Interesting: On January 1, 2015, there was a nationwide minimum wage for the first time in the Federal Republic of Germany. Since January 1, 2018, the statutory minimum wage must be adhered to without exception.

The Supervision and control to comply with the statutory minimum wage is carried out by the Financial control of undeclared work (FKS) of the customs administration. The employer has to contribute. They have existed since its inception additional reporting and documentation obligations for him.

Calculation of the minimum wage

Although the minimum wage law applies in Germany, many employees still ask themselves: What is the minimum wage in my individual case?

About the minimum wage to calculate, is there numerous toolswith which you can calculate both the personal hourly wage and the monthly wage. The minimum hourly wage in particular can be relevant for part-time workers.

To calculate the minimum wage, the average hours worked consulted and multiplied by the statutory € 9.50 (as of January 2021) become. This results in a monthly salary of for a 40-hour week 1,646.64 euros.

Collective bargaining autonomy: what is it?

The general minimum wage, which has been in force in Germany since 2015, can only be achieved against the background of Collective bargaining to be viewed as.

Wages will therefore determined by collective bargaining parties. These are among others Unions and Employers' associations.

The legal basis is formed by Freedom of association according to Article 9 of the Basic Law. There will be that constitutionally guaranteed.

Then there was that in 2014 Collective Bargaining Actwhich contains certain restrictions on collective bargaining autonomy. In addition, the first article of this article law includes the statutory minimum wage.

Furthermore it regulates tariff law in existence since 1949 the Collective bargaining as well as all the important elements of one Collective agreement.

Further information on the minimum wage:

Minimum wage increase

Find out in this guide which requirements must be met for a minimum wage increase.

Exceptions to the minimum wage

What exceptional cases does the German minimum wage law provide? Are you possibly affected?

Minimum wage in Europe

Find out here whether the minimum wage applies across Europe and whether there are differences between countries.

Minimum wage for the long-term unemployed

Does the minimum wage law in Germany also apply to the long-term unemployed?

Minimum wage in the collective agreement

What if the collective agreement stipulates a lower minimum wage?

Pros and cons of the minimum wage

Which arguments speak for and which against the minimum wage? Which side predominates?

Minimum wage: are there any exceptions?

Although the minimum wage is generally applicable and is now nationwide, but there are also exceptions, which should be pointed out at this point. These include the following groups:

  • Minors
  • trainee
  • Compulsory interns, people in the context of a voluntary orientation internship
  • Long-term unemployed (registered with the Federal Employment Agency for at least one year without interruption)
  • Volunteers

Especially young people who are part of Internships entry qualifications need to attain are excluded from the minimum wage. As in an apprenticeship, according to the legislator, this is not an employment relationship, but a Educational relationship.

Becomes a Compulsory internship completed during the course, the intern receives no minimum wage. There the duration does not matter. Same for one voluntary internship that does not last longer than three months includes.

It looks different if that voluntary internship lasts longer than three months or extended becomes. In such a case the minimum wage applies from the first working day (if renewed from the fourth month).

The exceptions also included Seasonal workers and newspaper deliverers. In the case of seasonal workers, it is permissible that Board and lodging offset against the minimum wage become. The Special position for newspaper deliverers duration by the end of 2017.

Minimum wage in Germany for various industries

You can find one in the table below Excerpt from the minimum wages customary in the industry, including the time frame in which they were valid. It should be noted that the information for both east and west of Germany be valid.

Important: The statutory minimum wage of currently € 9.50 (as of January 2021) gross per hourin any industry more to be undercut!

BranchEarnings in euros / hourvalidity
Waste management9,1001/2016 - 03/2017
Roofing trade12,0501/2016 - 12/2016
12,2501/2017 - 12/2017
Meat industry8,6010/2015 - 11/2016
8,7512/2016 - 12/2017
Hairdressing8,5008/2015 - 07/2016
Scaffolding10,7005/2016 - 04/2017
11,0005/2017 - 04/2018
Chimney sweep trade12,9501/2016 - 12/2017

Information on the minimum wage in various industries:

Minimum wage for bakers

Is there also a minimum wage for bakers and how much do they get?

Minimum wage in the hospitality industry

Do employees in the hospitality industry also have to be paid with the minimum wage?

Minimum wage for seasonal workers

Do seasonal workers also have to be paid the minimum wage? Are there any exceptions? Find out here!

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Statutory minimum wage in Germany
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