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← Overview Database of Innovative Social Policies in Europe

Introduction of a general statutory minimum wage

Country of implementation
Germany
General short description of the innovation
Introduction of a nationwide statutory minimum wage of 8.50 within the framework of the newly adopted Law on strengthening bargaining autonomy (Tarifautonomiest?rkungsgesetz). While the initial rate of the statutory minimum wage has been set by law, its subsequent development will be the responsibility of the bargaining partners. For this purpose a minimum wage commission which consists of one chairman (common candidate of employers and trade unions) as well as three representatives of trade unions and three representatives of employers associations. The commission is supported by two scientists, holding expert status on that topic. However, both only have a consultative status, meaning that they do not have the right to vote in decisions concerning the increases/reductions of the minimum wage.
Target group
Total Population
Policy Field
  • wage
Type of Policy
  • public
Duration of the policy
January 2015; at present there is no limit foreseeable
Scope of innovation
  • Number of intended beneficiaries: Estimations vary between 5. 2 million and 6.5 million in 2012 (Bosch and Weinkopf 2 01 2 ). However, these numbers will be further reduced by exemptions from the minimum wage. Excluded from minimum wage legislation are most of the trainees, young people under the age of 18 and former long-term unemployed. For the latter group, however, this only applies for the first six months of employment after the period of unemployment. There are temporary derogations for paper deliverers and seasonal workers until the end of 2 017. Taking into account these exemptions, the number of beneficiaries is about 3 .7 million.
  • Spatial coverage: national
General description of (intended) objectives and strategies
The statutory minimum wage is a guarantee against unreasonably low wages. Diminishment of wage dumping / in national and international competition. With regard to the whole legislative package described in Q7, strengthening of bargaining autonomy.
Nature of the innovation-long-term perspective
It is a rather radical change in wage-setting/wage policy
Type of ideal-typical strategy for the innovation
  • typical strategy for the innovation (optional; according to Obinger)-encompassing security
Type of innovation
  • new policy, practice or measure
New outputs
  • bargaining
  • benefit level (Higher wages lead to a higher benefit level in retirement or in case of unemployment. )
  • regulations of the labour market
  • wages
Intended target group
All employees
Working age population
  • income level (low/medium/high) (Low. The hourly wage rate of beneficiaries is less than 8.50 )
  • main source of income: paid work
Employers-private institutional actors
Employer associations and trade unions.
Actors involved in policy-making/implementation and/or evaluation
  • making/implementation and/or evaluation-beneficiaries/users (Joint responsibility for enforcing the minim wage. )
  • making/implementation and/or evaluation-central state
  • making/implementation and/or evaluation-employees (organised or individual)
  • making/implementation and/or evaluation-employers (organised or individual)
Clarification of the role of various actors
Employers and trade unions are responsible for the adjustment of the minimum wage. For this purpose a minimum wage commission which consists of one chairman (common candidate of employers and trade unions) as well as three representatives of trade unions and three representatives of employers associations. The commission is supported by two scientists, holding expert status on that topic. However, both only have a consultative status, meaning that they do not have the right to vote in decisions concerning the increases/reductions of the minimum wage.
Intended output
  • bargaining (With regard to the whole legislative package described in Q7, strengthening of bargaining autonomy. )
  • wages (The statutory minimum wage is a guarantee against unreasonably low wages. Diminishment of wage dumping in national and international competition. )
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