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Germany: wide minimum wage for apprentices will come into force by 2020

The German Parliament has just very recently approved the introduction of a Germany-wide minimum wage for apprentices. While a national minimum wage for regular employees was already introduced in 2015, apprentices were exempt from this law. By now introducing the new minimum wage for apprentices as of 1 January 2020, a first-year apprentice will be entitled to a remuneration in the amount of at least 515 Euros per month. In the following years, the monthly minimum wage will be gradually increased up to 620 Euros for first-year apprentices by the year 2023. Second-, third- and fourth-year apprentices shall also be entitled to a minimum wage, which will be above the lowest limit of 515 Euros per month.

Exceptions from the minimum wage are only possible if employers and trade unions conclude own collective agreements for individual sectors.

The new minimum wage aims at lowering drop-out-rates and making apprenticeships more attractive in light of the high demand in the German economy. It is estimated that roughly 115,000 apprentices, who currently earn less than 515 Euros per month, will benefit from the new minimum wage.