Special payment: A little more Christmas bonus - but not for everyone

Many collective bargaining employees in Germany can expect a slightly higher Christmas bonus this year.

Special payment: A little more Christmas bonus - but not for everyone

Many collective bargaining employees in Germany can expect a slightly higher Christmas bonus this year. On average, they receive 2,809 euros gross, as the Federal Statistical Office announced on Tuesday in Wiesbaden. The increase of 2.3 percent or 62 euros compared to the previous year is, however, below the inflation rate of 3.8 percent.

A total of 85.8 percent of collective bargaining employees receive such a special annual payment in November or December.

“For employees with a collective agreement, an extra on the pay slip is practically standard before Christmas,” said Malte Lübker, an expert at the Economic and Social Sciences Institute (WSI) of the trade union Hans Böckler Foundation. "But we also know that this is much less likely to happen if the employer does not pay according to the collective agreement."

No legal entitlement to a Christmas bonus

There is no legal entitlement to Christmas bonuses. “The entitlement to the special payment arises from the collective agreement, works agreement or employment contract,” explains the German Federation of Trade Unions (DGB). A claim can also arise from the principle of equal treatment as well as from company practice - if Christmas bonuses have been paid repeatedly without contractual regulations or agreements.

However, collective agreements do not apply to all employees in Germany. According to the latest data from statisticians, only just under half (a good 49 percent) of employees worked in a collectively agreed company last year. However, there are companies that base their payments on collective agreements without being bindingly bound to them.

According to the latest information from the DGB from last year, for which WSI data was taken into account, around 54 percent of all employees in Germany receive a special payment at the end of the year.

Highest Christmas bonus in the energy sector

The amount of the Christmas bonus and the proportion of collective bargaining employees who receive an additional bonus differ depending on the industry, which can include several collective agreements. The proportion is particularly high, at more than 95 percent, in financial and insurance services and in the construction industry. In the areas of public administration, defense and social security, less than 70 percent of collective bargaining employees can count on Christmas bonuses.

All collective bargaining employees in the extraction of crude oil and natural gas as well as in the coking and mineral oil processing sectors can look forward to a particularly strong additional increase at the end of the year of an average of 5,733 euros (5,586 euros).

The lowest special payment is for temporary work at 380 euros. In tobacco processing it is 564 euros, and according to statisticians, only 50.4 percent of collective bargaining employees are entitled to a Christmas bonus.

NEXT NEWS