German minimum wage set to rise in 2024 and 2025

German minimum wage set to rise in 2024 and 2025

Germany’s Minimum Wage Commission has suggested that hourly rates be increased to 12,41 euros. The changes are likely to be adopted by the federal government in 2024, but unions say the raise is not enough to compensate for real wage losses.

Germany likely to increase the minimum wage in 2024

After discussions ran on into the early hours of the morning, the Minimum Wage Commission has announced that it has recommended that the government increase the German minimum wage to 12,41 euros per hour from the beginning of 2024, and again to 12,82 at the beginning of 2025.

The minimum wage in Germany currently stands at 12 euros per hour, a rate which was introduced by the traffic-light coalition shortly after it entered parliament in October 2022.

Though the commission’s suggestion still has to be enshrined by the government, the change is expected to pass into law without much resistance, since lawmakers often follow the commission’s recommendations.

Unions say hikes are inadequate to compensate real wage losses

While there is likely to be little resistance from the government to the question of whether to raise the minimum wage to 12,41 euros, there has been much disunity from within the commission, which is made up of employer and union representatives.

Members of the commission were greatly divided in the vote, and this time, the recommendation was not agreed upon by consensus, with employee representatives being outvoted. 

“We could not give our support to a wage increase within the cent range,” board member of the German Federation of Trade Unions (DGB), Stefan Körzell, said at a press conference. “To ensure basic protection and compensation for inflation, the minimum wage should have risen to add least 13,50 euros per hour,” Körzell suggested, “But the employers and the chair of the commission refused to make support that motion”. 

Thanks to high inflation in recent months, workers in Germany have seen the biggest real wage losses since 2008. Now, the minimum wage increase to 12,41 in 2024 will see wages rise by just 3 percent compared to the latest annual inflation rate of 6,1 percent.

Thumb image credit: Sorbis /

Olivia Logan


Olivia Logan



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