Germany: Cabinet Approves Four Percent Increase in Minimum Wage for 2017

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By Andrea Barbara Schuessler

Oct. 28—Germany's hourly minimum wage will increase by 4 percent from 8.50 euros ($9.27) to 8.84 euros ($9.64) effective Jan. 1, 2017, according to a regulation Chancellor Angela Merkel's Cabinet approved Oct. 26.

About 4 million German employees are eligible for the hourly minimum wage, which was introduced at 8.50 euros on Jan. 1, 2015.

The Minimum Wage Commission decided in June to raise the minimum, an action that does not require parliamentary approval. The commission is an independent body made up of three employer representatives, three employee representatives and two academic experts.

“The report presented by the independent minimum wage commission together with the decision to increase the minimum wage as of Jan. 1, 2017, shows the minimum wage works, it functions, it's part of everyday life,” Minister of Labor and Social Affairs Andrea Nahles said Oct. 26.

Employers that attempt to evade the minimum wage requirement face fines up to 500,000 euros ($545,190). Affected employees may file lawsuits against employers for up to three years after a failure to pay the minimum wage.

To contact the reporter on this story: Andrea Barbara Schuessler in Berlin at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Rick Vollmar at

For More Information

Germany's minimum wage legislation is available

here, more information on the minimum wage here and more information on the minimum wage commission here, all in German.

For more information on German HR law and regulation, see the Germany primer.

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