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Minimum wage – what changes for students

Minimum wage – what changes for students

New Year New luck. For everyone who has complained about being ripped off by their employer, there has been good news since January 1, 2015: The legal minimum wage in Germany is here! However, you shouldn't celebrate too early, because the minimum wage means significant restrictions for the internship generation.

We have looked at the advantages and disadvantages of the minimum wage and what you should keep in mind from now on.

Internship – now it gets complicated!

The federal government has expressly set aside the statutory minimum wage for interns. Once they have completed their studies, each of them must receive an hourly wage of at least 8.50 euros. Interns who are still studying are only entitled to the minimum wage if their internship lasts longer than three months. However, many companies and even start-ups require at least five months because the training period requires a lot of personnel.
Compulsory internships that are stipulated as part of the study regulations are completely exempt from the statutory minimum wage.

Reason enough for many companies to simply hire students who have to complete a compulsory internship or to eliminate internship positions entirely. On the one hand, the pressure to save money is forcing employers to hire interns on a low budget. On the other hand, companies quickly forget that students or graduates of their (aspired) degree should be paid appropriately. Internships often replace full-time work.

The minimum wage could even throw a spanner in the works for media students. Even after completing their studies, many would rather do a poorly paid or unpaid internship than none at all. In many professions, practical experience is a prerequisite for “the first real” full-time job.
In many industries, an internship is your ticket into the company. Interns are recommended during this time and the company becomes aware of young talent.

The first challenge, however, begins with the application. When companies hire voluntary interns with a minimum wage, they want the best of the best who are worth the 8.50 euro minimum wage. As a result, applicants have to contend with greater competition.

But there is hope in two years. From January 1, 2017, the statutory minimum wage will apply without exception. The period until December 31, 2016 is considered a transitional period during which exceptions (such as those regarding internships) apply.

Part-time job – this is how the minimum wage works to your advantage!

Mini-jobbers often earn less than 8.50 euros an hour. About one in two people could benefit from the statutory minimum wage. This can mean that the number of hours to be worked in a 450 euro job decreases. The catering industry in particular is being forced to rethink.

Up to 450 euros in total income you are still exempt from social security. You should be careful with a higher sum because you will then lose your mini-jobber status and may end up being paid less at the end of the month than before. So talk to your employer about the options and find the best solution together.

Photo credit: AllweckJack /

The legal minimum wage of 8.50 euros is there. But don't celebrate too early, because students are the ones who suffer in this case. You can read about everything that is changing for you here.

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