Santa is coming! It’s time for the Christmas bonus!
Normally in Germany, more often than not the Christmas bonus is paid out this month (November). But who actually gets how much?
The rule is: Those who are employed by collective bargaining get a Christmas bonus. Unless otherwise agreed – this is the case for 12.8 percent of employees.
Christmas Bonus Statistics in Germany
According to the latest figures from the Federal Statistical Office, the amount of the payment averages 2677 euros. An increase of 1.9 percent compared to 2020.
In the west, the average Christmas bonus of 2695 euros is around 5.5 percent higher than in the east, where 2554 euros are paid. In return, somewhat more collective bargaining employees there (88 percent) are entitled to a share than in the west (87 percent).
“A collective agreement is the best guarantee for receiving Christmas or vacation pay,” says Prof Dr. Thorsten Schulten, head of the WSI tariff archive of the Hans Böckler Foundation.
However, there are clear differences in the amount of the Christmas bonus: In the agreements examined, the lowest average value is 301 euros (for temporary workers), the highest is 5651 euros (for workers in coking plants and mineral oil processing).
In the hospitality industry, too, comparatively little Christmas bonuses are paid with an average of 861 euros.
Which industries get how much Christmas bonus?
|Branch||Christmas Bonus (Gross)|
|Coking and mineral oil processing||5651 euros|
|Manufacture of chemical products||5369 euros|
|Power supply||5171 euros|
|Provision of financial services||4360 euros|
|Water supply||3998 euros|
|Insurance, reinsurance and pension funds (excluding social insurance)||3855 euros|
|Real estate and housing||3583 euros|
|Manufacture of paper, cardboard and goods made therefrom||3140 euros|
|Legal and tax advice; Business consulting||2808 euros|
|Manufacture of clothing||2676 euros|
|Manufacture of food and feed||2519 euros|
|Civil engineering||2308 euros|
|Metal production and processing||1991 euros|
|Wholesale (excluding trade in motor vehicles)||1748 euros|
|Manufacture of metal products||1472 euros|
|Placement and leasing of workers||301 euros|
Collective agreements do not apply to all employees in Germany. Without a collective agreement, the chances of fixed special payments decrease.
Employees with a collective agreement receive such special payments about twice as often as employees who are not paid according to the collective agreement. That is one of many arguments for strengthening collective bargaining coverage again.
How much is the Christmas bonus in Germany?
The Christmas bonus can either be a lump sum or the amount depends on the monthly wage as a percentage.
Average Christmas bonus.
The average Christmas bonus is 2,632 euros gross.
In the collective agreement, the amount is usually linked to the length of service. The collectively agreed Christmas bonus is staggered as follows:
|LENGTH OF SERVICE||SHARE OF MONTHLY SALARY|
▶ Long absenteeism can therefore reduce the amount of the payment.
In principle, the employer is obliged to consider all employees in his company equally when paying Christmas bonuses. However, if there are good reasons, certain employees may receive a different amount.
Who gets Christmas bonus?
Around 55 percent of employees receive a Christmas bonus. There are differences, among other things according to gender, region and collective bargaining coverage:
- In the old federal states 58 percent of employees receive a Christmas bonus, in the new federal states only 39 percent.
- 57 percent of men receive a Christmas bonus, but only 51 percent of women.
- 56 percent of employees with an open-ended employment contract receive a special payment at Christmas, while only 45 percent of those employed with fixed-term contracts.
- 71 percent of employees with a collective bargaining agreement receive the extra salary, compared with only 41 percent for employees without a collective bargaining agreement.
- 64 percent of union members receive Christmas bonuses, but only 52 percent of non-members.
Christmas bonus by industry
The following overview shows the proportion of employees per industry who receive Christmas bonuses at the end of the year. So if that is an argument for you to apply to an employer, this will take you directly to the jobs in the individual industries.
|Medical technology||38.9 percent|
|Tax advice||37.9 percent|
|Mechanical engineering||37.7 percent|
|Electrical engineering||35.3 percent|
|Legal advice||26.3 percent|
|Logistics & traffic||24.4 percent|
|Social facilities||23.7 percent|
|Media & press||20.4 percent|
When will it be transferred?
In most cases the Christmas bonus is combined with the November salary. This is how it can best serve its purpose and top up the Christmas treasury for gifts.
Does it have to be in the employment contract?
No, it doesn’t have to, as it is often a voluntary payment by the employer. If you work in an industry that is subject to a collective agreement, the amount of the Christmas bonus is often fixed there.