A new minimum wage law which would give a salary boost to millions of workers in Germany has passed its first hurdle, getting the green light from the Social Affairs Committee of the Bundestag. 

Draft law to raise German minimum wage to 12 euros passes first step

A draft law to increase the minimum wage in Germany to 12 euros per hour, prepared by Labour Minister Hubertus Heil, was approved by the Social Affairs Committee on Wednesday, according to information from dpa

“The decision of the committee has set the course,” SPD faction deputy Dagmar Schmidt told the dpa. “A minimum wage of 12 euros is a big step.” She said while the government has also signed off relief packages and crisis measures to relieve consumers in the face of current price increases, “at the same time it is important to stabilise incomes in principle, because that is the basis for all employees.” 

Andreas Audretsch, deputy chairperson of the Greens parliamentary group, said, “This is a wage increase for over 6 million people and, in view of rising prices, is more important and urgent than ever… Today’s decision is a strong sign of more justice in Germany.” 

Minimum wage increase still needs Bundestag’s approval

Germany’s minimum wage currently stands at 9,82 euros per hour, having been increased at the beginning of the year, and is set to go up again on July 1, 2022, to 10,45 euros per hour. The new law would see the statutory minimum raised for the third time in one year, on October 1, to 12 euros per hour. 

The traffic light government is also legislating for changes to the earning limits for so-called mini-jobs. From October 1, the limit would be raised from 450 to 520 euros per month – any income below this threshold would be exempt from taxation and contributions to social security

The draft law still needs the approval of the Bundestag and Bundesrat. It’s not yet clear when the topic will be put on the agenda, but all three parties in the traffic light coalition were clear that it should be done soon. 

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