These are the 6 important changes employees in Germany can expect from January 1, 2022


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Some changes that affect employees will come into force in Germany as early as January 1, 2022. What to expect for employees in the new year.

Employees in Germany: What will change in terms of salary or sick leave in 2022? There are again some changes to be made for employees, regardless of whether they have worked for a long time or are trainees. Below is an overview of the most important changes you can expect in 2022 in Germany:

employees in Germany

1. Minimum wage increases on January 1, 2022

Employees who are paid according to the minimum wage can look forward to more money in 2022. According to the Federal Ministry of Labor (BAMS), the minimum wage will rise to 9.82 euros per hour on January 1st . Previously it was 9.60 euros. As of July 1, there will be a further increase to 10.45 euros per hour, as planned.

How was the statutory minimum wage set for 2021 and 2022?

On June 30, 2020, the Minimum Wage Commission issued its recommendation to increase the statutory minimum wage in 2021 and 2022. The federal government followed this recommendation of the minimum wage commission. Accordingly, there were two increases in 2021. As of June 1, 2021 and December 31, 2021. In 2022 the minimum wage will rise again in two stages.

What is the current statutory minimum wage?

  • The legal minimum wage is currently: 9.60 euros

What is the statutory minimum wage in 2022?

  • From January 1 to June 30, 2022, the statutory minimum wage is 9.82 euros
  • From July 1 to December 31, 2022, the statutory minimum wage is 10.45 euros

When will the statutory minimum wage be increased?

The statutory minimum wage will increase to EUR 9.82 on January 1, 2022 and to EUR 10.45 on July 1, 2022.

employees in Germany

2. Higher training allowance

Many apprentices who begin their training in 2022 also expect a higher wage: The legally stipulated minimum training remuneration increases from 550 euros to 585 euros gross per month . Then it increases as follows:

  • in the 2nd year of training: plus 18 percent
  • in the 3rd year of training: plus 35 percent
  • in the 4th year of training: plus 40 percent

Minimum remuneration for new training contracts

  • The new minimum remuneration for trainees applies to training contracts that are outside the collective bargaining agreement and that began on January 1, 2020. 
  • The minimum remuneration for the first year of training in 2021 is 550 euros. In 2022 it will be increased further to 585 euros and in 2023 to 620 euros. 
  • In the second year of training, trainees get more money: The minimum wage then increases by 18 percent. In the third year of training it increases by 35 percent and in the fourth year by 40 percent. 
  • Company learning materials are paid for by the employer.

Degrees have uniform names

Further education qualifications have a wide variety of names – which can lead to confusion, especially abroad. For this reason, the higher qualifications in vocational training have been set at three advanced training levels and are given uniform names:

  • “Certified professional specialist”,
  • “Bachelor Professional” and
  • “Master Professional”.

The previous designations such as “Meister” or “Fachwirt” can be continued.

Part-time education open

Before the reform, only single parents or apprentices caring for apprentices could take advantage of the opportunity to complete their training part-time. In principle, the amendment gave everyone this opportunity, provided that the training company and the trainee are in agreement. In particular, this is intended to create incentives for refugees, people with disabilities or learning disabilities.

Training courses that build on one another are credited

Duplications, which can arise from training courses that build on one another, should be avoided. For example, if an apprentice has successfully completed a two-year training course, he or she can be exempted from the first part of a final examination of a training course based on this.

3. Corona bonus for employees in Germany

Employees can receive a corona bonus from their employer until March 31, 2022 . This includes payments of up to 1,500 euros – and tax-free. The money must be paid in addition to the salary and is intended, among other things, to alleviate the additional burden caused by the corona crisis, reports the German Press Agency (dpa).

▶ Employers can pay their employees aids and support up to an amount of EUR 1,500 tax-free and SV contribution-free or as benefits in kind. This applies to special benefits that employees receive between March 1, 2020 and March 31, 2022.

▶ The prerequisite is that the aid and support are provided in addition to the wages owed anyway. It is irrelevant whether the benefits are granted monthly or as a one-off payment. 

▶ The tax-exempt benefits must be recorded in the payroll account. Other tax exemptions and valuation facilities remain unaffected.

▶ The special and indispensable performance of the employees in the Corona crisis is recognized with the tax and exemption from contributions of the special payments.

▶ The so-called “Corona allowance” or “Corona premium” is not industry-specific. It can be paid by any employer without any obligation to pay. 

employees in Germany

4. Electronic sickness notification to employers from July 2022

Already since October 1, 2021 certificate of disability (AU) of medical practices is digitally transmitted to the health insurance (transition period for the changeover to 31 December). From July 1, 2022 , the sick leave will also be sent electronically to the employer – by the health insurance companies. Employees no longer have to hand in the former “yellow ticket” to the company themselves. The patients only receive a printed copy for their own documentation.

Transmission of the eAU by medical practices is mandatory from January 1, 2022

The mandatory submission of the eAU by the practices to the health insurers was previously planned for January 1, 2021.

The KBV (National Association of Statutory Health Insurance Physicians) and the National Association of Statutory Health Insurance Funds have agreed a later date on January 1, 2022, as the necessary technical equipment in the practices has not yet been ensured across the board. In addition, the practices should not be additionally burdened in view of the ongoing pandemic situation.

The digital transmission process to employers will not start until July 1, 2022

Another innovation concerns the starting time of the digital forwarding of the AU data from the health insurances to the employers: The legislature has postponed this date by half a year to July 1, 2022. Originally January 1, 2022 was planned. A pilot process is now to start on January 1, 2022.

For contract doctors, this means that by June 30, 2022, in addition to the digital transmission of the AU data to the health insurance companies, they will issue a paper certificate, which the patient forwards to his employer. 

5. Change for mini jobbers

New for mini-jobbers: From January 1, 2022, when reporting short-term mini-jobbers, it is necessary to specify the health insurance with which the person is insured. This has been announced by the mini-job center. From 2022, employers should also receive feedback when registering whether the employee has other short-term jobs or already had them in the same calendar year.

6. Lowering the voting age for works council elections

In companies with a works council, the voting age for works council elections will also be reduced: from 2022, 16-year-olds will be able to cast their votes. Previously, the minimum age was 18 years. However, anyone who wants to be elected to the works council must still be at least 18 years old.

Expaturm aims to help educate Expats in Germany on key issues that they will have to deal with while living in Germany by providing everything you need to know about Banking, Healthcare, Lifestyle, and Housing in Germany



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