As of 1 January 2024, the statutory gross minimum hourly wage for employees aged 21 and older is € 13.27 per hour, an increase of 3.75%. In addition to the increase, the statutory minimum hourly wage will be introduced on 1 January. This means that fixed minimum daily, weekly and monthly wages are no longer prescribed by law. Currently, the extent of a full-time employment contract may differ per sector (for example 36, 38 or 40 hours per week). In all these cases, the same minimum monthly amount currently applies. This means that an employment contract of 40 hours per week actually has a lower hourly wage than an employment contract of 36 hours per week. This inequality will be cancelled by the change in the law of 1 January. The introduction of a statutory minimum hourly wage means that the salary scales in many collective labour agreements must be adjusted, because there are no longer fixed monthly, weekly or daily amounts.
Components of the minimum wage
The minimum wage consists of the basic wage and a number of allowances, e.g. for shift work and irregular working hours. Your pay slip will state the statutory minimum wage payable to you.
The gross wage consists of:
- the basic wage agreed in your contract;
- allowances for shift work, irregular hours, etc.;
- weekly or monthly fixed payments for the turnover you generate;
- work-related payments by third parties, e.g. tips or payments agreed between you and your employer.
The total of these amounts may not be lower than the minimum wage. The statutory minimum wage is indexed against inflation twice a year, on 1 January and 1 July. For employees between the ages of 15 and 20, minimum youth hourly wages apply, which are derived from the statutory minimum hourly wage for adults.
Income not included in the minimum wage
- overtime pay;
- leave allowance;
- profit shares;
- special payments, e.g. incidental payments received for reaching sales targets;
- future payments you receive subject to certain conditions (e.g. pension and saving schemes to which the employer contributes);
- expense allowances;
- end-of-year allowances.
Part-time work and the minimum wagYour gross minimum wage depends on how many hours you work. If you work part time the gross minimum wage is proportionately lower. If you work part time you can work out your minimum wage as follows:
- Take the minimum wage per week.
- Divide it by the number of hours in a full working week.
- Multiply the result by the number of hours you work per week.
There is a low-income benefit (LIV) for employees who have worked at least 1,248 hours for an employer in one calendar year and have an average hourly wage of between 100 and 125% of the statutory minimum hourly wage. From 1 January, the upper limit of the hourly wage criterion will be reduced from 125 to 104% of the statutory minimum hourly wage. The government plans to abolish the LIV as of 1 January 2025.