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Minimum wages


Branch-specific minimum wages between Euro 6.50 and Euro 13.95 per hour

As of 1 April 2014, the minimum wages in Germany varied between 6.50 euros per hour (hairdressing trade in the new Länder and Berlin) and 13.95 euros per hour (construction industry in the former territory of the Federal Republic).

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EU comparison

Minimum wages in the EU: between 159 euros and 1,874 euros in gross terms per month

In 21 of the 28 EU countries, a statutory minimum wage applied across economic branches in September 2013. However, there was a wide range: The eastern, former socialist EU countries recorded very low minimum wages of less than 450 euros in gross terms per month. At the bottom of the list was Bulgaria with 159 euros. An exception in this group of countries was Slovenia with a monthly minimum wage of 784 euros, which exceeded even those in the south European countries of Portugal (566 euros), Greece (684 euros), Malta (697 euros) and Spain (753 euros). The minimum wages applying in western Europe were markedly higher, exceeding the threshold of 1,000 euros per month. This included, among others, the United Kingdom (1,190 euros), France (1,430 euros) and Luxembourg, which is on top of the list of EU countries. The statutory monthly minimum wage in Luxembourg was 1,874 euros in 2013. This was about twelve times the minimum wage in Bulgaria.

More : Minimum wages in the EU: between 159 euros and 1,874 euros in gross terms per month …

In Focus

Number on minimum wages of branches

Minimum wages in twelve branches at the end of 2013

Contrary to many other European countries, there is no statutory minimum wage across branches in Germany. However, the parties to collective agreements may agree upon minimum wages for specific economic branches. When they are declared binding by the Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs, they apply to all employers and employees of the branch concerned.

The main legal basis for lower wage limits in individual branches is the Posted Workers Act, which entered into force on 1 March 1996. The first minimum wages applying to whole branches were introduced in 1997 in the main construction industry and in the roofing and electrician trades. Six years later, the painting and varnishing trade and a decade after that, the first service branches (industrial cleaning in 2007 and letter mail services in 2008) joined the above branches.

Since that time, minimum wages have been extended to other branches every year, so that minimum wages were paid in a total of 15 economic branches between 1997 and 2013. As the minimum wage has been declared null and void for letter mail services and has expired in two other branches (special mining and commercial cleaning), minimum wages are applied in twelve branches at the end of 2013.

Additional Information

Key figures

Presse releases

Index of nominal earnings up 1.4% in 2013

Labour costs up 2.4% in 2013

Agreed earnings up 2.4% in 2013

© Statistisches Bundesamt, Wiesbaden 2014