F.ast nine out of ten collective bargaining employees in Germany can look forward to a Christmas bonus this year. Despite the corona crisis, 87.4 percent receive this special payment, as the Federal Statistical Office announced on Wednesday. In 2019, the proportion was slightly lower at 86.9 percent. “Corona-related cancellations of collectively agreed Christmas bonuses have not yet been identified on the basis of the information available to us,” explained the statistical office. The amount of the Christmas bonus is also increasing, by 1.1 percent to an average of 2661 euros gross.
However, the payment is very different in the individual industries. Collective bargaining workers in oil production receive an average of 5910 euros. Broadcasters (5509 euros) and energy suppliers (4991 euros) also pay a lot. The lowest Christmas bonuses are paid to employees in employment agencies and agriculture at 364 euros and 493 euros.
There are also differences between East and West. While the share of employees entitled to Christmas bonuses in East Germany rose from 86.4 to 90.0 percent, in West Germany it remained at the previous year’s level of 87.0 percent. In the west, an average of 2684 euros is paid, in eastern Germany 2503 euros.
The Destatis survey, however, only relates to collective bargaining employees. Since a large number of employees in Germany work outside the collective bargaining agreement, only about half of the employees receive Christmas bonuses in the economy as a whole.
Its deletion is also not easily possible. Since it is paid either on a contractual basis or as a so-called operational exercise, i.e. it has been paid for three years in a row, a legal claim arises.
Christmas bonus is also not to be equated with the 13th month’s salary. This is a fixed component of the salary that must be paid in any case, just another installment of the annual salary.