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Germany: Minimum wage to increase to €12.41 in 2024

June 26, 2023

The minimum wage in Germany is set to rise in two stages from the current €12 to €12.82 per hour. The first increase to €12.41 is to take place next year, with a second boost to follow in 2025.

The minimum wage in Germany is set to rise
The minimum wage in Germany is set to rise in two stages from the current €12 per hour to €12.82 Image: Maksym Yemelyanov/Zoonar/picture alliance/dpa

Germany is set to raise its minimum wage to €12.41 ($13.51) per hour beginning on January 1, 2024, based on new recommendations from the country's Minimum Wage Commission. The current minimum wage is €12 per hour.

A year later, on January 1, 2025, the minimum wage is to be raised again, to €12.82, according to the recommendations, which are almost always put into effect by the German government.

Every two years, the commission, which is made up of representatives from companies, trade unions and science, issues a recommendation on the future level of the minimum wage.

Labor representatives on the commission, however, opposed the minimum wage hike as insufficient for workers hurt by high inflation.

"The resolution comes at a time of weak economic growth and persistently high inflation in Germany, which poses great challenges for companies and employees alike," the commission said in its decision.

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Rise is not enough, trade unions say

The German Trade Union Confederation (DGB) sharply criticized the decision. Board member Stefan Körzell, who is also a member of the Minimum Wage Commission, said that the €0.41 nominal raise would in fact amount to an enormous wage cut for the country's roughly 6 million minimum-wage workers, given high inflation.

Körzell said labor representatives had pressed for an increase to at least €13.50 but were rebuffed by company representatives and the chairwoman of the commission, Christiane Schönefeld.

Germany's Social Democrat-led coalition government last year bypassed the commission to hike the country's minimum wage from €10.45 to €12 in October. The increase had been a key campaign pledge of Chancellor Olaf Scholz.

Germany first introduced a statutory minimum wage in 2015. It was initially €8.50 per hour but has been increased repeatedly since then.

dh/nm (dpa, AFP)