Minimum wage is about to ‘rise significantly’, labour minister says

Minimum wage is about to ‘rise significantly’, labour minister says
Photo: DPA
Germany’s labour minister Hubertus Heil said in an interview that he expects the minimum wage to rise significantly when an official body reviews it later this month.

Heil told Bild am Sonntag that he expects the Minimum Wage Commission to propose a “significant rise” in the legal lowest hourly wage due to the healthy state of the German economy.

“I will then put this proposal into law,” he added.

The Social Democrat politician also said that he would institute stricter controls to make sure that companies were sticking to the minimum wage. He said that there was evidence that some employers were still finding ways around the minimum hourly payment, which is currently set at €8.84.

The minimum wage commission is made up of academics and representatives from employee and employer organizations.

Heil also said that Germany was on its way to achieving full employment.

He pointed out, though, that there were still significant regional differences, mentioning Eichstätt with an unemployment rate of 1.4 percent and Gelsenkirchen that still has joblessness of 13 percent. Nationwide, unemployment currently stands a t a historic low of 5.3 percent.

“We need to work on bringing the long-term unemployed back into work,” he said, “then we will have the chance to reach full employment in the whole country in the next decade.”

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