Minimum Wage Disparity Widens: Germany’s Increase Leaves Poles Jealous
Looking ahead to 2025, Germany plans to raise the minimum wage even further, aiming for €12.82 gross per hour. Trade unionists had hoped for a more substantial increase, pushing for €14 gross per hour.
It’s estimated that approximately 15% of workers in Germany, totaling around 6 million individuals, currently find themselves in the low-wage sector, earning less than €12.76 per hour.
Minimum Wages in Germany Till 2025:
The impact of Germany’s minimum wage increase means that by 2024, our neighbors will be earning approximately PLN 57 gross per hour. In contrast, Poland’s Ministry of Family and Social Policy presented a draft regulation in August, which anticipates an increase in the national minimum wage. According to this plan, from January 2024, the minimum wage will rise to PLN 4,242 and, by July, to PLN 4,300, driven by the pressing issue of high inflation. If these government-proposed rates are maintained, the hourly rate in Poland will be PLN 27.70 gross from January and PLN 28.10 gross from July. This starkly contrasts with the more generous rates offered across the border in Germany.
Highlighting the wage gap further, it’s worth noting that in 2021, Poland ranked third from the bottom in Europe in terms of average earnings. Only Romania and Bulgaria had lower salaries, with Slovakia and Croatia slightly surpassing Polish wage levels.
The growing disparity in minimum wages between Germany and Poland is drawing attention to the economic challenges faced by workers in Poland. As the cost of living continues to rise, many are left hoping for policy changes that can bring them closer to their counterparts in more economically prosperous European nations.
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