Salary increase: collective agreement, non-collective agreement and benefits in kind

When can a raise be requested?

The reasons for a raise can vary. On the one hand, new salary agreements of the collective bargaining partners can lead to a salary adjustment, on the other hand - especially in smaller companies - there is the possibility of speaking to the boss personally about appropriate remuneration based on special performance at the workplace or an expansion of your skills. In addition to the salary increase in the form of a certain amount of money, of which a large part of the tax is sacrificed, there are also various variants of the so-called factual salary increase.

Salary increase in accordance with the collective agreement

In large companies or in the public sector, salaries are usually determined according to the applicable collective agreements. The collective agreements are negotiated between the trade unions and the employers' associations and are applied to the members of the collective bargaining parties. Something else only applies if a collective agreement has been declared "generally binding".

In this case, you are entitled to the standard salary even if your employer is not a member of the relevant employers' association. However, many commercial enterprises also pay above-standard salaries of their own accord, which are negotiated individually with the employees. Collective bargaining takes place on average every two years, so you can expect salary increases at this rhythm.

In addition, your placement in a higher salary group may also lead to a raise in salary. The classification criteria are regulated in detail in the collective agreements. Upgrading comes into consideration in particular if your area of responsibility has changed or expanded during the period of employment. In this case, you should first inquire with your works or staff council whether you would therefore need to be classified higher. You can then approach the boss or HR manager with your concerns.

If a voluntary upgrade is rejected by your company, you can sue the labor court for your salary adjustment on the basis of the principle of equal treatment. However, you should seek legal advice from your union or a lawyer to do this.

When is a non-collective wage increase justified?

Even if employees and employers are not bound by collective bargaining agreements, salaries must be regularly adjusted to compensate for the permanent price increase. In addition, individually justified allowances can be considered if an employee performs better or performs a more demanding job than before. Salary increases are also possible in the event of changes in the employee's personal area (e.g. marriage, birth of a child).

Tritt einer dieser Fälle ein, sollten Sie Ihren Arbeitgeber grundsätzlich auf eine angemessene Gehaltsanpassung ansprechen. Bringen Sie gleichzeitig zum Ausdruck, dass eine höhere Vergütung selbstverständlich zu einer weiteren Erhöhung Ihres Engagements im business beitragen wird. Auf diese Weise entsteht beim Chef das Gefühl, mit Ihrer Gehaltserhöhung gleichzeitig der Firma etwas Gutes zu tun.

How can the salary be increased through benefits in kind from the employer?

There are many ways to provide an employee with benefits in kind without the tax authorities absorbing most of them, e.g. B .:

· Your boss takes out tax-privileged direct insurance for your benefit. This must exist for at least five years and up to the age of 60. If the contribution for this is raised from a one-off payment (e.g. vacation or Christmas bonus), there are even no social security contributions.

· You will receive tax-privileged preferred shares for employees.

· Your employer grants you an interest-free company loan, which is tax-free up to an amount of 5000 DM.

· The company provides you with a company leasing car.

· Your employer bought you an expensive language or advanced training course. In addition to the course fees, the boss can also bear the travel expenses.

· You will be granted special paid leave or you will receive appropriate overtime allowances, which may well amount to between 25 and 150 percent. Such surcharges are exempt from taxes and social security contributions.

· Your employer pays you a Bahncard. You can then also use this privately. Employees often receive a job ticket for journeys to and from work.

· For purchases in your own company with a discount, an annual amount of up to DM 2,400 is tax-free.

· You get a company cell phone.

· The boss may give you tax-free gifts of up to DM 60 on certain occasions (e.g. birthday, name day, wedding day). Married employees can also receive up to DM 700 tax-free per parent when a child is born.

· The employer is entitled to unlimited tax-free allowances for the care of children not required to attend school (under six years of age) in kindergartens, child minders, etc. pay.

· You can receive tax-free allowances for lunch.

· A tax-free lump-sum payment in kind of DM 50 per month is permitted, e. B. in the form of a fuel voucher or a subscription to the fitness studio.

· Tax-free reimbursement of medical expenses by the employer is also possible. This would include, for example, massages or physiotherapy, which can be beneficial to the health and thus also the workability of the employees.

· You receive a tax-deductible supplementary pension.

This is how you prepare for the negotiation meeting

First, get an overview of the salaries that are paid for comparable jobs. You can obtain relevant information from trade unions and personnel consultancies, but also from business magazines. However, you should take into account the economic situation of your company so that your claim does not become unrealistic.

In preparation for this interview, you should gather any arguments that might justify a raise. It is about your special achievements: innovative ideas from which the company has benefited; a particularly lucrative contract conclusion; the implementation of a successful project. For this purpose it is helpful to keep a private »job journal« in which you regularly record all noteworthy successes, suggestions for improvement and other ideas useful for the company. This way you always have enough material for a positive self-expression.

Make sure the time is right for your salary negotiation. It is best to make an appointment after which you have achieved a particular success in the company (e.g. a new order).

Stay as self-confident as possible during the conversation and don't talk around the bush. Present your achievements concisely and make it clear that you also deserve financial recognition for this. Make a specific suggestion to your boss, e.g. B. 15 percent more salary. If he rejects this request altogether, try to act (e.g. gradually increasing your salary) or resort to alternative perks.

In doing so, give your boss the feeling that the negotiation result is in his own hands, despite your specifications.

Salary increase - important judgments

Wage increase for women on maternity leave
Auch Arbeitnehmerinnen, die sich im Mutterschaftsurlaubsanspruch befinden, haben Anspruch auf eine Lohnerhöhung. Dieses ergibt sich aus dem Prohibition of Discrimination. Waren die Frauen nicht schwanger gewesen, hätten sie die Lohnerhöhung schließlich auch erhalten.
ECJ - AZ: C - 342/93

Higher civil servant salaries from three children
Since the year 2000 civil servants from the third child onwards have been entitled to an allowance of around DM 100 to DM 200 per month higher than before. The Federal Constitutional Court considered it unconstitutional that civil servants with more than two children had only been paid an allowance that was lower than the corresponding social assistance rate. Instead, officials are entitled to an amount 15 percent higher.
BverfG - AZ: 2 BvL 26/91

No obligation with annual salary increase
Even if an employer has increased salaries for several years in a row on the basis of a works agreement that obliges him to carry out an annual salary review, this does not result in a so-called operational exercise that obliges him to make corresponding salary increases for the following years.
BAG, September 16, 1998 - AZ: 5 AZR 598/97

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