I am currently looking at switching jobs in Germany and plan to speak to recruiters soon. Is there a maximum percentage increase in salary that I must limit my expected salary to? Are there laws or regulations governing a salary increase in Germany?


3 Answers 3


No, there is no such law and no other regulation. You can state any number you seem fitting as your expected salary in negotiations. Unlike other countries, your current salary is not a measurement of your future salary in Germany.

You are not required to give your current salary to anybody. Most likely, your current contract contains a clause that makes sure you don't. Although those clauses do not hold up in court, people in Germany are used to the fact that they are not supposed to talk about their salary and most would consider it rude even to be asked. What you make now is irrelevant. The only thing that counts is what you want to make in the position discussed.


Disclaimer: I am from Germany.

Your current salary is a protected private information. That means your new employer has no right to know it, and you can lie if they ask it with no legal repercussions. Its in the same category as asking if you have job unrelated chronic diseases or family plans.

Furthermore, there is no law governing how much of a salary hike you can get or limiting that.

Additional Source (Compilation of case law and interpretation from an attorney's website) [in German] here.

  • @nvoigt I added some sourcing to this.
    – Magisch
    Commented Jul 11, 2016 at 8:16
  • @Lilienthal I'm unsure. I could rewrite my answer to be less focused on the country tag, but nvoigt's answer would still be. You more or less invalidated it with your edit.
    – Magisch
    Commented Jul 11, 2016 at 8:32
  • @Lilienthal It boils down to reaffirming my "There are some questions (this one included) that the employer is not allowed to ask and in which you can legally lie when they are asked"
    – Magisch
    Commented Jul 11, 2016 at 8:35
  • How is "I am from Germany" a "Disclaimer" in this case? What are you "disclaiming"?
    – Philipp
    Commented Jul 11, 2016 at 14:49
  • The source you added does not seem to mention anything about previous salaries.
    – Philipp
    Commented Jul 11, 2016 at 14:59

In some jobs , there are regulations and policies. For a example they clearly mentioned that this country engineers were paid 1/10 times lower than in USA.

Unless a situation like that, there is no point to declare your own limits. It's about business, and you show know how to demand yourself with your skills and realistic.

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