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Guide to minimum wages in Germany 2020

The minimum wage in Germany applies to all employees in employment from January 1, 2015. In 2020, the minimum wage was EUR 9.35 gross per hour (in 2019 it was EUR 9.19). 

It applies to all employees who do not have the right to sectoral minimum wages or other minimum wages based on collective employment contracts, they are mostly migrants in Germany.

The minimum wage also applies to posted workers from abroad, regardless of the country in which their employer is based. The minimum wage commission proposed a salary increase in 2021 from 9.35 euros to 9.82 euros based on statistics on fee increases in the last two years.

Who has no right to a minimum wage?

The statutory minimum wage in Germany does not include:

  • People who are in the process of vocational training (German: Ausbildung)
  • People under 18 who have no vocational education
  • The long-term unemployed in the first 6 months of employment
  • Pupils and apprentices (regardless of age) in vocational training (Berufsausbildung)
  • volunteers
  • Persons undergoing compulsory school or study placement that lasts no more than three months
  • Self-employed people.

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Seasonal workers in Germany

The hourly minimum wage in 2020 is EUR 9.35 gross per hour. Importantly, this rate applies to both Germans and migrants in Germany. Foreign employees who only work temporarily in Germany and who have not lived in other EU states for more than six months are subject to a limited tax. Basically, the salary of foreign employees is taxed in Germany and it is here that the tax is deducted.

Read more information on German Laws and legislation here: Legal News and Guides – Germany

Foreign seasonal employees from 1 January 2020 can settle accounts under the ELStAM program  (electronic record of tax information flow). 

Income earned on German territory is required to be settled with the German tax office by submitting a tax declaration that shows; salary, relief and tax class, and which includes.

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It should be remembered that the assessment of the taxation of income generated from sources of income located abroad must be made taking into account the relevant provisions of the bilateral double taxation agreement.

The German tax-free amount. Seasonal workers also have the right to receive a child allowance and recover part of the tax. They are also exempt from unlimited tax liability (unlimited tax liability is that regardless of where they earn income, it should be taxed in the country.

Of course, the employee can pay the so-called withholding tax of 5% However, it must meet certain conditions:

– Work in agriculture or forestry;

– Work in Germany for no more than 180 days a year.

– the taxpayer should be an employee and not a specialist in agriculture and forestry (Fachkraft).

– Work must be seasonal and not for a whole year.

– The salary does not exceed 15 euros per hour.

Jalal Muhammad Amin
Lawyer and legal advisor based in Germany