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World minimum wage in comparison: Germany in the middle of Europe

18:44  25 february  2021
18:44  25 february  2021 Source:   tagesspiegel.de

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The minimum wage in this country is currently 9.50 euros. Scientists from the Böckler Foundation believe that twelve euros would be possible.

Viele Friseurinnen und Friseure haben vom gesetzlichen Mindestlohn profitiert. © Photo: dpa Many hairdressers have benefited from the statutory minimum wage.

In the Corona period, minimum wages also rise less sharply, but at least there was an increase of 3.1 percent on average in Europe at the beginning of 2021. A year ago, the nominal increase was 6.1 percent, announced the Hans Böckler Foundation of the DGB. With the current study, the scientists are giving German politicians a template for the federal election campaign, because a large part of the party spectrum, including the SPD, the Greens and the Left, advocates a statutory minimum wage of twelve euros. The grand coalition introduced the lower limit in 2015 and pulled it at 8.50 euros.

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As a rule, the minimum wage increases every two years in line with the general increase in collective bargaining agreements. The hourly wage is currently 9.50 euros; in several steps it will rise to 10.45 euros by mid-2022. The employers in the minimum wage commission agreed to these increases last summer in order to keep the issue out of the election campaign. That will be difficult, however, because there are higher wages in comparable countries.

13 EU countries are higher than Germany

"The standard international indicator for the appropriateness of the minimum wage is 60 percent of the respective median wage or 50 percent of the average wage," writes the Böckler Foundation, referring to the EU Commission and its draft directive as appropriate Minimum wages. According to calculations by the OECD, the minimum wage in 2019, the last year for which international comparative data is available, was only 48.2 percent of the median wage. 13 EU countries achieved higher values ​​than Germany. If you were to estimate 60 percent, the

for Germany would be around twelve euros , as a study on behalf of the Federal Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs (BMAS) showed. "Measured against the median wage, the minimum wage in Germany is very moderate at just 48 percent of the median," says the Böckler study. In an EU comparison, the affluent Federal Republic is only 14th out of 21 places.

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If the minimum wages were to be adjusted to the guideline value of 60 percent in the medium term, around 6.8 million people in Germany and a good 25 million people across the EU would receive "for the first time reasonably adequate hourly wages at economically manageable costs," write the scientists and expect a tailwind for the Germans Debate mainly from Brussels.

With its minimum wage initiative presented last October, the EU Commission is pursuing an "inclusive growth strategy that sees the reduction of social inequality as an essential prerequisite for sustainable economic development". This “paradigm shift” is significant, since the EU leaders not only favor higher statutory minimum wages, but also a strengthening of collective agreements. Specifically, all member states in which the collective bargaining coverage is below 70 percent of employees are to develop action plans to promote collective bargaining, among other things. There is therefore also a need for action in Germany, where, according to figures from the Institute for Employment Research, only 52 percent of employees benefit from a collective agreement. A little more in West Germany, significantly less in East Germany.

Higher minimum wages would have “no relevant negative effects on employment”, say the trade unionists, referring to a British study and to experience in Spain and New Zealand. In this country, too, there were major concerns from employers and economists before the introduction in 2015. The predicted job cuts did not materialize, however.

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usr: 1
This is interesting!