Income earned is set by collective wage agreements or by individual agreements with the employer. Employers frequently pay remuneration exceeding the agreed pay scale to sought-after skilled workers. Higher wage and salary payments above the collectively agreed rate are characterised by the fact that collective wage agreements are applied in the company and therefore the employee’s basic remuneration is regulated collectively. A voluntary, freely agreed supplement is paid in addition to this basic remuneration.


On 1 January 2021, the statutory minimum wage was initially raised to EUR 9.50 gross per hour and will then be incrementally increased to EUR 9.60 gross on 1 July 2021, to EUR 9.82 gross on 1 January 2022 and to EUR 10.45 gross on 1 July 2022. There are also generally applicable sectoral minimum wages in accordance with the Basic Collective Agreements Act [Basis Tarifvertragsgesetz], the Posting of Workers Act [Arbeitnehmerentsendegesetz] and the Act on the Provision of Temporary Workers [Arbeitnehmerüberlassungsgesetz].


Persons under the age of 18 without vocational training are exempt from the minimum wage in Germany. In addition, trainees and persons completing a compulsory internship have no right to the minimum wage. Only a voluntary work placement lasting longer than 3 months is remunerated at the minimum wage rate.


Trainees have been subject to a minimum training allowance [Mindestausbildungsvergütung (MAV)] since 2020. The Vocational Education and Training Act [Berufsbildungsgesetz – BBiG] ( provides for a minimum training allowance for all vocational training contracts entered into after 1 January 2020. This amounts to EUR 550 in the first training year for vocational training positions taken up in 2021. This amount will increase gradually until 2023 (2022: EUR 585; 2023: EUR 620). Provision is made for an increase of 18% in the second training year, 35% in the third and 40% in the fourth. The change in subsequent years is automatic and is linked to the average growth in contractually agreed training allowances (negotiated collectively and individually). Training companies subject to collective wage agreements may pay trainees the applicable collective training allowances even if these are less than the above-mentioned rates. Above the MAV, the agreed training allowance should not be more than 20 percent below the allowance stipulated in the relevant collective wage agreements.


At present, minimum standards for working conditions (particularly wages and paid leave) exist only in individual sectors as a result of statutory rules of the Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs (Posting of Workers Act, 1996). They currently apply to, inter alia, the main and ancillary construction industry, cleaners, postal workers, the care sector, security services and waste management (including street cleaning and winter road maintenance).


Salaries are normally transferred into the employee’s current account in the middle of the month or at the end of the month. Under trade regulations, the employer is required to provide the employee with a statement setting out remuneration in a comprehensible text format. Wage tax, solidarity surcharge and, where appropriate, church tax, as well as the employee share of contributions for social security insurance (healthcare, pensions and nursing care insurance) and unemployment insurance are deducted from the agreed gross pay and transferred directly by the employer to the relevant administrations.