Lawyer / legal advice on the minimum wage in Germany
On this page we inform you about the minimum wage which was introduced in Germany in 2015 with the Minimum Wage Act (MiLoG). We will be happy to advise you on your individual situation in a personal meeting.
- Every employee in Germany is entitled to the minimum wage of €9.35 per hour from 01.01.2020 (in 2019 it was €9.19 and before that €8.84 per hour)
- Companies are legally obliged to pay their employees in Germany according to the minimum wage – even if the company is based abroad
- Employees who have not received a minimum wage in the past can also sue for it retroactively
The minimum wage in Germany
Already in 2015, the Minimum Wage Act (MiLoG) was introduced in Germany, which prescribes a statutory minimum wage of € 8.50 per hour and was increased to € 8.84 per hour in 2017.
On 31.10.2018, the Federal Cabinet decided to raise the minimum wage to €9.19 per hour from 01.01.2019 and to €9.35 from 01.01.2020 .
Who is entitled to the minimum wage?
In principle, every employee is entitled to the minimum wage regardless of the size of the company. Even if the company is based abroad – if you work in Germany, you are entitled to the minimum wage of € 8.84 per hour since 2017 (from January 2019 then € 9.19 and from January 2020 then € 9.35). This also applies to employees who are only employed for a short period in Germany.
Despite this entitlement, thousands of employees do not receive the minimum wage. As reported by Zeit-online on 31.10.2018, 800,000 people in Germany earned less than the minimum wage in 2017, even though they generally fell under the Minimum Wage Act.
We will be happy to assess your individual situation.
And who is excluded from the minimum wage?
Not every employee is entitled to the minimum wage. The following occupational groups are excluded from the minimum wage:
- Young people under 18 (without vocational training)
- long-term unemployed persons
- freelance employees
- honorary employees
In which occupational groups is the minimum wage particularly frequently not paid?
The introduction of the statutory minimum wage has had a positive effect on many occupational groups. Nevertheless, although companies are obliged to pay the minimum wage, many employees still do not receive it. The following occupational groups are particularly often left out in the cold:
Agricultural and forestry workers
Postal and parcel deliverers
Can my employer pay me less than the minimum wage?
No, your employer is legally obliged to pay you the minimum wage. Since 2017 this has been €8.84 per hour, from January 2019 €9.19 per hour and since January 2020 €9.35 per hour. Failure to comply with this law could result in high fines for your employer.
What can I do if my employer does not pay me the minimum wage?
If you do not receive the statutory minimum wage from your employer, it is best to first talk to your boss. Make him aware that he is legally obliged to pay the minimum wage.
If this does not improve the situation, you can sue for the minimum wage in court. The difference between the salary actually paid and the minimum wage can be claimed – even retroactively for up to three years. Due to the statutory limitation period of three years, beginning at the end of the year in which the claim arose, wage claims can, for example, be asserted in court until 31.12.2018 from 2015 onwards. Our lawyers will be happy to advise you on your chances of success in a personal and non-binding telephone conversation.
Would you like legal advice on the minimum wage?
Many employees are still uncertain about the minimum wage. Below you will find further answers to frequently asked questions.
Does my entitlement to a minimum wage expire?
Your entitlement to overdue pay does not expire until three years after the end of the year in which you were entitled to it.
The statutory provision stipulates that the minimum wage entitlement is protected against any exclusion periods under the employment contract or any waivers.
Which benefits of the employer are minimum wage effective?
Is the deferred compensation minimum wage effective?
Is the minimum wage also payable in the event of illness?