The care commission set up by the federal government has agreed a significant increase in the minimum wages in the care sector in Germany. This is to take place in three stages from 1 September this year.
For unskilled auxiliary care staff, the minimum wage is to rise gradually until the end of 2023 from the current €12 to €14.15, for skilled auxiliary care staff from €12.50 to €15.25, and for qualified caregivers from €15 to €18.25. Some 1.2 million care workers in Germany will be affected by the changes.
The committee also recommended increasing the amount of leave by seven days this year and by nine days in 2023 and 2024 – for full-time employees. In the future, care workers are to be entitled to at least 29 paid vacation days per year for a five-day work week.
Where the minimum wage does not apply in the care sector, for example in private households, the general statutory minimum wage of €9.82 per hour currently applies. However, the federal government has opted to raise the general statutory minimum wage to €12 per hour.
Lauterbach: “First important step”
“Workers in the care sector have high professional competence. The pay must reflect this,” said Federal Health Minister Karl Lauterbach. At the same time, he stressed that the agreed rates are “minimum standards” that are “a first important step on the way to fair remuneration for those employed in the care sector.”
Federal Labor Minister Hubertus Heil stated: “The significant wage increases are good news for the caregivers and caregivers of the elderly in Germany, who work hard every day and care for seniors and people in need of care in our society.” He added that his ministry is seeking to make the findings binding on the entire industry.