Will nurses in Bavaria get TAX-FREE salaries soon?

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As a “tokens of gratitude”, the Bavaria Health Minister Holetschek wants nurses to be offered tax-free salaries

Tax-free salaries for nurses: Hardly any OTHER occupation is as burdened by the pandemic as the nursing staff. They have been working at the limit for months, especially in the intensive care units in Germany. Bavaria’s Minister of Health, Klaus Holetschek, is now bringing a lavish tax gift into play as a “token of gratitude”.

Nurses need more than just an applause! Tax-free salaries is a good start!

It was in the darkest hours of the pandemic when applause broke out. Back then, people applauded the nurses who had been working at the limit for months – as a gesture of gratitude. But nothing more than symbolic politics has happened since then. 

▶ The employees in the intensive care units are still overworked, some are still underpaid, and many are still working on the verge of self-exploitation. The traffic light coalition has promised one billion euros for nursing staff. How the money should be distributed has so far remained unclear.

“If we want to give our nurses in Germany a really noticeable sign of our gratitude after the well-deserved applause, which will eventually fade, we should make their salaries tax-free for at least the next twelve months. For many that would be an enormous relief.”

Klaus Holetschek, Bavaria Health Minister

The new German coalition government must endorse this

Holetschek also became clear in other ways. The fact that the SPD, which leads the Ministry of Health in a new federal government, does not want to officially announce its head of department until the beginning of December annoys him. It is “shameful”, says the CSU politician. “In addition, if I consider that with Karl Lauterbach an experienced doctor and epidemiologist is available who, as a corona specialist, was always on the team with caution and caution.”

The outgoing German Heath Minister supports offering nurses tax-free salaries

Federal Health Minister Jens Spahn (CDU) supported the demands for better pay, but also referred to the responsibility of the social partners. “4000 euros, I can agree to that,” he said recently at an care industry function.

▶ He could also imagine an increase in the minimum nursing wage from currently 2700 euros for skilled workers to a sum closer to 3000 euros.

“Every hospital, every outpatient or inpatient Nursing service in Germany is currently looking for staff and has the money for the positions, but can not fill them. This topic is the big task. It takes patience. It cannot be resolved just bay law.”

TAX-FREE salaries
Jens Spahn, outgoing German Federal Health Minister

The German Nursing Council welcomes the overtures

Large professional associations in the care industry come together in the care council to discuss the current challenges in the industry.

“Better working conditions are needed in nursing, and that means fairer wages. One of the first elementary steps is to raise the remuneration of nurses in all supply areas to a basic level of 4,000 euros.” She referred to the burdens and responsibilities of the nursing profession. More wages also mean a better influx and better retention in the job and the chance of attracting people returning to work.”

TAX-FREE salaries
Christine Vogler, President of the German Nursing Council

In the care industry, earning opportunities in Germany are completely different

The income opportunities in the industry vary, depending on the region and area of ​​work. According to the Federal Statistical Office, nurses received an average of 3578 euros gross per month last year. For skilled workers in nursing homes it was an average of 3363 euros, in old people’s homes 3291 euros. The differences are due, among other things, to the fact that collective wages are often paid in nursing, it said.

▶ In the fight against the shortage of personnel, the care council also called for the use of so-called personnel assessment procedures, i.e. calculations of how many employees are required in a facility to ensure good care. Personnel planning would then have to be based on this.

Will the new German coalition goverment offer nurses tax-free salaries?

The grand coalition has “tackled quite a lot” with care over the past few years. He referred to newly created jobs, better pay, for example through minimum wages in care for the elderly, and reforms in training, such as the abolition of school fees. The number of trainees in nursing is higher than ever before.

The beneficiary employees do not have to pay taxes or social security contributions on the bonus of 1,500 euros. The then Federal Finance Minister Olaf Scholz announced in April that pandemic-related premiums for nurses and care workers of up to 1,500 euros would be tax-free.

Jens Spahn agreed to demands of the care workers for better pay and also spoke out in favor of a further increase in minimum wages. The question of collective bargaining is a task between employers and employees. Every hospital and every nursing service is looking for staff.

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