High salaries, quality of life, a host of other benefits that life in Germany offers, attract thousands of thousands of citizens of other countries who every year decide to move to work.
But while Germany allows EU citizens to move and work without any special rules, this is not the case with third-country nationals — they need to apply and get a work visa.
When it comes to wages and other benefits, everyone is equal. Whether employees are EU citizens or not, they are paid in accordance with applicable laws.
Entry into Germany to work by third-country nationals
Unlike EU citizens, third-country nationals require a visa or a residence permit in order to obtain permission to enter Germany for the purpose of work.
Non-EU nationals must apply for one of the documents mentioned above before entering Germany, i.e. procedures cannot be completed upon arrival.
As a rule, citizens of non-EU countries require a visa or residence permit in order to get a job in Germany. By law, a residence permit must contain information on whether and to what extent access to the labor market is granted. This information now replaces the previous work permit.
Non-EU citizens wishing to work in Germany must apply for a visa or residence permit at the competent representation in their country.
However, such a requirement does not apply to all — there are exceptions.
Citizens of Australia, Canada, Israel, Japan, New Zealand, South Korea and the United States are exempt from this requirement. This way they can apply for the necessary residence permit after they arrive in Germany.
Salary in Germany
Germany has recently changed its laws , and from October 1, 2022, the minimum wage in the country is 12 euros per hour. The minimum wage law applies to everyone, whether the worker is an EU citizen or not.
As for the average salary, it depends on the industry, as well as on the shortage of personnel in a particular specialization.
According to official data, in 2022, the average monthly salary of a full-time employee was about 4,100 euros, 49,200 euros a year.
As in other countries, the level of the average salary here determines the choice of profession. Doctors are the highest paid in Germany. They make an average of 89,539 euros a year.
The top ten most expensive specialists include financial consultants — 73,847 euros, lawyers — 68,642 euros, business consultants — 64,173 euros, bankers — 62 744 euros, engineers — 62 565 euros, IT specialists — 60 563 euros, PR — 60 174 euros, as well as those who work in the production sector — 60,046 euros, distribution and sales — EUR 59,591
Working hours and holidays
Under current German law, employees must work a certain number of hours per week. As in other EU countries, working hours in Germany must not exceed eight hours per day.
In certain cases, the working day can be extended to ten hours, but the number of hours per week must not exceed 48.
Those who work more than required should be paid for overtime. However, in Germany there are no rules for compensation for overtime work, that is, these rules are determined by the employer.
In addition, employees are guaranteed a break.
All employees are entitled to at least 11 hours of rest between work days and have a minimum 45-minute break after the first six hours for shifts longer than nine hours.
Regarding vacation, that's 25–30 days per year.
Employees may be granted more vacation time if the employer agrees, and may also take hours or days off for certain special events.
In addition to vacations of up to four weeks per year, employees in Germany also have days off due to public holidays. Public holidays in Germany vary from state to state, which means that not all employees get the same number of days off during the year. There are nine national public holidays that affect everyone.
Employees in Germany are also entitled to sick leave. Employees who take sick leave receive full pay for the first six weeks, and after that, employees receive health insurance benefits.
During pregnancy, women in Germany have special rights in their workplace, and the right to paid maternity leave.
The employer is obliged to guarantee a safe and healthy environment for all pregnant women and to comply with certain measures.< /p>
Even if permitted by contract, a pregnant woman cannot be required to work more than nine hours a day, and she has the right to take short breaks during the day if necessary.
Six weeks before the birth and eight weeks after the birth of the baby all women in Germany are entitled to maternity leave and wages.
Maternity leave starts automatically and pregnant employees do not need to give any notice. Moreover, the authorities explain that the wages of women who go on maternity leave are equivalent to their monthly salary three months before the start of the maternity leave.
During the time the employee is on maternity leave, the employer is prohibited from terminating her employment contract until four months have passed since the birth of the child.
Payments are shared between the employer and the health insurance company.
Other employee benefits in Germany
Statutory benefits include medical care, retirement, unemployment insurance, workers' compensation and long-term care.
Every worker in Germany is entitled to an old-age pension. Employers are required to pay contributions to the state pension fund for all their employees, and once an employee retires, they are paid about 1,600 euros per month. The amount depends on the number of years worked (length of service) and whether the employee retired early.
In addition, all employees in Germany enjoy medical benefits. Every employee in Germany must have health insurance, which, in particular, covers most of the costs in case of illness and accidents.
Employees in Germany are also entitled to a nursing allowance — it is tax-free.
Skilled Workers Act
In view of the large number of foreigners who want to work in Germany, the German government is working to simplify some aspects of its immigration policy.
Now the country is working intensively on the reform of the Law on Skilled Workers, and the “Blue Card of Germany” should become more accessible to highly qualified workers with higher education.
Moreover, Germany plans to allow citizens of countries outside the EU to move to the country for the purpose of work, without requiring them to undergo official recognition of a diploma.