Full-time or part-time: That’s how much Germans really work

working hours

Full-time, home office, pension: This is how the Germans work

Beate Kranz, business editor

07/22/2023, 21:55

| Reading time: 3 minutes

Scholz: The retirement age will not be raised

Scholz- The retirement age will not be raised

Chancellor Olaf Scholz has positioned himself clearly in the discussion about a possible increase in the retirement age: he said in a survey in the Bundestag that this should not and will not happen.

Video: work, politics

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On average, Germans work 34.7 hours a week. But that is only the half truth. What full-timers really do.

Berlin. The agreed working hours in Germany for full-time employees are between 35 and 40 hours – depending on the industry and profession. Since many people work part-time, the average working time is 34.7 hours per employee, according to the latest figures from the Federal Statistical Office for 2021. On average, full-time employees work accordingly 40.5 hours and part-time workers 20.8 hours per week.

Also read: Four-day week – is the employee’s dream coming to Germany?

Full-time employees earned on average in 2022 4105 euros gross. However, the individual salary usually deviates from this and depends on many factors such as occupation, industry, educational qualifications, age and gender. This year, 46.8 percent of all employees will receive holiday pay averaging EUR 1,602. West Germans get 1648 euros, however, 479 euros more than East Germans with 1169 euros.

A four-day week is possible with wage deductions

Over the past twelve years, the retirement age has been gradually increased from 65 at the time to 67 by 2031. Most men and women born in 1964 or later can therefore only retire at the age of 67. There are ways to end working life earlier, but usually only with deductions in pension payments or for those who have worked for at least 45 years. Raising the retirement age in the course of demographic change is discussed again and again, but Chancellor Olaf Scholz is currently rejecting this.

One four-day week with full wage compensation is what some people want, but only a few companies offer it – such as SAP. The Group wants to improve employee satisfaction and increase their productivity. Those who would like to work only four days can usually achieve this today through part-time regulations and corresponding wage deductions.

More on the subject: Salary, home office, four-day week – this is how Europe works

Home office – not yet by law, but in practice

In Germany there is no legal right to home office. In the course of the corona pandemic, however, numerous employers are taking the opportunity to let their employees work from home. Each company has regulated the return to work internally. According to the Federal Statistical Office, a total of 24.2 percent of all employees were working from home at least part of the time in 2022. According to a study by the Munich Ifo Institute, employees currently work from home one day a week on average. The Federal Ministry of Labor intends to present a draft law on the subject soon.

Siestas – extended lunch breaks – are discussed in view of the hot summer, but there are no legislative initiatives. Unions in particular welcome this for employees who have to work outdoors. Employers’ associations are open.

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