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The remuneration for work including the difference between wages and salaries

One of the relevant obligations of the employer consists in to pay a so-called remuneration for services rendered.

This is how it is agreed in the employment contract, which cannot be agreed in writing, but also orally.

The remuneration does not have to be based solely on the regular monthly amounts remain limited, but can also Bonuses such as vacation and Christmas bonuses if these have been agreed or paid repeatedly and unconditionally.

There is a lot of interesting information to learn about the right to earnings, wages and salaries. How to distinguish them, how the net salary differs from the gross salary and what the 13th month salary is all about, read in this article.

Further information on remuneration:


Read here how it is a question of a salary and how you can calculate yours.


When do we talk about wages and what is the difference to salary? You can find all information right here!

Performance-based remuneration

Bonus systems enable motivational payment.

Christmas bonus

You can find out here when the employer pays the special payment and how much the Christmas bonus will be.

Paid breaks

When are employees paid for the time they take a break? Read more in the guide!

Shift allowances & shift allowances

When does the employer have to pay shift allowances and shift supplements? Read more here!


How much tips are customary in Germany and do taxes have to be paid on them? Here.


Compact knowledge: remuneration

What is meant by remuneration?

Remuneration is generally understood to mean the financial consideration for the work done. Like all rights and obligations associated with an employment relationship, the amount of remuneration is also defined in the employment contract.

What are the most common forms of remuneration?

The most common forms of remuneration are usually salary and wages.

What is performance-related pay?

As the name suggests, performance-related pay depends on the employee's performance. It is paid in addition to regular income and can vary. So it is a bonus system.

What is wages? A definition

Employees who are in an employment relationship have one according to labor law Entitlement to receive remuneration. It is only used for employment in the form of gross wages paid and includes contributions to income tax and social security, which is why the amount of the actual income falls below the agreed gross earnings, ultimately these are deducted.

On the Both contracting parties agree on the scope of the remuneration usually in one that is specific to the employment relationship employment contract. Come Collective agreements apply, the conditions are regulated there. In addition, the amount of wages or salaries can also be in a company agreement be held.

Remuneration and other working conditions that are or are usually regulated by collective bargaining agreements cannot be the subject of a works agreement. This does not apply if a collective agreement expressly permits the conclusion of supplementary works agreements. "(Section 77 (3) of the Works Constitution Act (BetrVG))

How the wage is calculated and paid by the employer holds up Section 107 of the Trade Regulations (GewO) firmly. Accordingly, the euro, which is valid in Germany, is the standard. The Remuneration is also to be paid to the employee in this currency - in cash or bank transfer. The fee does not necessarily have to be paid exclusively in monetary terms - The granting of benefits in kind is also partially permittedif circumstances permit. Important: The lower limit is the non-attachable part of the remuneration. The employer must pay this in euros. Tips do not affect the remuneration agreed in the employment contract. The employee is entitled to a written statement containing the following information:

  • Billing period
  • Type and amount of surcharges
  • other remuneration
  • Type and amount of the deductions
  • Installments
  • Advances

The employer is not obliged to do this if there have been no changes compared to the last statement.

If the employee is sick and his employment is due to a present incapacity for work through no fault of its own not comply, he has according to Continued Payment Act - if he's already Has been employed by the company or company for at least four weeks without interruption is - entitled to one six weeks of continued wages paid by the employer.

After that, this is usually passed on to the health insurance company. This pays then sick pay, which, however, only corresponds to 70 percent of the gross wage.

If you get sick, you have to give one to your boss or the human resources department present a medical certificate of incapacity for work, this lasts longer than three days. Attention: You can also submit the template also be requested beforehand. The Federal Labor Court has decided that the employer can demand this on the first day (BAG Az. 5 AZR 886/11). If you want to continue to receive your “remuneration” during the illness phase, you should obey this rule.

The difference between wages and salaries

There are different types of remuneration. The best known are wages and salaries. But what is the difference here?

Just like the salary is that Pay a remuneration for work done, namely for employees. Basically, the distinction is made by the designation usually linked to the type of employment. While Workers receive wages, white-collar workers receive wages.

But actually, the two terms should rather be differentiated according to the type and scope of work.

As salary is a remuneration that the same every month fails. It is there It doesn't matter how many working days and specific work done were. In the latter in particular, the salary therefore differs from wage from, whose Scope can vary from month to month, both parties have agreed, for example, on remuneration based on the number of items. This is usually less, one points Month, for example, many holidays on. There are also differences in the due date: While a salary is usually paid monthly, wages are paid weekly.

And what is the fee? Freelancers, i.e. those who are not employed in a company, are remunerated with a fee.

The wage within the sliding zone

In Germany there are many employees in the Low wage sector active. You receive relatively little money, which is why a sliding zone was installed for employees subject to compulsory insurance. This affects the Determination of the contribution assessment basis and thus also influences how high the Contributions to be paid to long-term care, health, pension and unemployment insurance fail.

The sliding zone extends from remuneration in the area between 450.01 euros and 850 euros. Employees earning this amount must pay lower contributions to the relevant insurance companies. This has no effect on the payments to be made by the employer.

What matters is what contributory pay counts. It usually includes the following factors, among others:

  • the monthly salary
  • 13th month salary
  • capital accumulation benefits
  • Attendance bonuses
  • regular benefits in kind
  • taxable allowances for work on Sundays, at night and on public holidays

The premium is calculated on the basis of these key data, usually for a period of one Calendar month.

Overtime compensation

Most collective and employment contracts and also company agreements show Clauses on the performance of overtime and its payment out. However, the formulations to be found there are not always legally binding, as employers sometimes lean too far out of the window with their demands. Therefore, here are the most important tips.

Basically the legislature prohibits (§ 3 Working Hours Act) that employees exceed a daily working time of eight hours. However, there may be a Extension to ten hours possible.

For this, however, the employer must grant compensation for time off within the next six monthsso that the targets for average working hours are achieved again.

Ergo, overtime that is unlikely to be lost during this period can be rejected.

Check your employment contract. See this following clause "Overtime is paid for with the salary", then this is often ineffectiveas they you inappropriately disadvantaged. Usually the employer must indicate the maximum number of overtime hours to be worked.

If no agreement on the payment of remuneration for overtime has been stipulated in the employment contract or other regulations, see Section 612 German Civil Code (BGB) before that the The employer has to remunerate this if the employee had to assume that remuneration would be paid according to the circumstances (BAG Az. 5 AZR 765/10). It looks different with High earners out. There is one here so-called assessment ceiling, which says from what earnings a No longer to demand payment of overtime is. In western Germany it is 71,400 euros gross and in eastern Germany 60,000 euros.

Warning: the employer is only there obliged to pay remuneration for ordered or approved overtime. What is decisive is his “knowing and wanting”. So if you work more on your own, your boss may not be obliged to pay for this extra work.

Bonuses and 13th monthly salary?

Under the term Gratuities are payments made by the employer that are granted for a certain reason - for example, loyalty to the company and do not affect wages or salaries. Examples of gratuities are:

  • Christmas bonus
  • Vacation pay
  • Special allowances due to a company anniversary
  • Bonuses for fulfilling any target agreements

Whether an employee is entitled to bonuses in addition to regular pay, can be found either in an applicable collective bargaining agreement, an existing company agreement or in the agreed employment contract. But this does not always have to be put down in writing, either oral commitments are effective.

Has a Employer grants bonuses, so to speak, within a certain period of timewhat the employee can legitimately infer a permanent grant of this kind, a claim also arises from this on gratuities. In this context, labor lawyers speak of one operational exercise. However, employers can also exclude the right to the payment of a bonus with the help of a voluntary reservation.

And what is it now 13th month salary? It will one month's salary more than is paid for the year.

In contrast to gratuities it is part of regular earnings and must be paid proportionally against this background, the employee leaves the company prematurely. The 13th month salary honors the work already done over and above the salary.

Calculate salary

One has to distinguish between that Gross annual salary from the respective monthly salary. An employment contract with a specified hourly wage is rather rare, but rather the monthly salaries before tax is deducted specified. If you want to find out how the monthly salary affects the hourly wage, you have the option of finding out your remuneration using one of the many online calculators or using a simple formula yourself.

All that is needed for this is that Amount of the (gross) salary and the hours that are worked per month. The gross hourly wage is determined from this.

Gross means "before taxes are deducted". Wage and church tax, solidarity surcharge, contributions to pension, health and unemployment insurance are included in the respective amount and must be deducted in order to receive the net wage. The The net amount is the earnings that you get transferred to your account.

The formula for calculating the gross salary is as follows:

(Working hours per week x 13) / 3 = average working hours per month

The result determined in this way takes you one step further on the way to the To get hourly wages out. This can be found with the help of the following invoice:

Amount of the salary (in gross) / average working hours per month = hourly wage (gross)

Calculate net salary

How much you get out of it in the end, cannot be understood with such an easy formula as the Deductions depend on many different factors. They include:

  • the presence of a pecuniary benefit
  • the respective accounting year
  • the annual tax allowance
  • the tax bracket
  • Church affiliation
  • the respective federal state
  • the age of the employee
  • any child allowances
  • Type of health insurance (privately insured, voluntarily or compulsorily insured by law)
  • the amount of the additional health insurance contribution
  • Type of pension insurance (statutory or non-statutory insurance)
  • Type of unemployment insurance (statutory or non-statutory insurance)

You can use this data to calculate your net salary. The gross-net calculator available on the Internet are easy to use and, after entering all the necessary data, indicate how much your actual salary is and how much money you have available to live on.

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The remuneration for work including the difference between wages and salaries
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