Your payslip: what you need to know
The payslip has several names in German: Lohnabrechnung, Gehaltsabrechnung or Entgeltabrechnung. This statement shows how much you have earned (gross wage) and what deductions have been made (social insurance contributions, taxes). It also says how much money you will be paid after deductions (net wage).
There are two parts to the payslip.
At the top:
- Period covered by this statement (month)
- Name and address of the employer
- Your name, address and date of birth
- Date of the start of employment
- Tax class and tax identification number
- Sometimes the remaining holiday days are also listed there.
The main part of the payslip contains the gross wage with gross payments. This part shows what your wage is made up of: Supplements and other payments may be listed, for example if you have been ill, as the employer is then obliged to continue paying your wages. The gross payments together make up the total gross amount. Both tax deductions and social insurance deductions are listed under the total gross amount.
After these deductions, the net earnings are calculated. In some cases, there are still net payments or net deductions that are deducted from net earnings. At the bottom of the payslip you will find the amount that will be transferred to your account. This is called the "Auszahlungsbetrag" (amount which is paid out).
Please note: your employer must give you your payslip every month. If you don't receive a payslip, you should demand one.
Your payslip is an important document that you always need to check. Sometimes payslips can contain mistakes. To check them, you need to know when you worked and have everything written down. You can then compare the payslip to the hours you have recorded and check whether you have been paid for everything. Extra pay may have been agreed in the employment contract or collective agreement for overtime, night work, work on Sundays or public holidays. These must also be identifiable on the payslip.
Does your employer have to give you a payslip?
You normally receive a payslip every month. If your wage has not changed compared to the previous month, your employer does not necessarily have to provide you with a payslip. You only need to receive a payslip if your wage changes.
Important: you can also ask for a payslip. Then you can check whether you have received the correct wages.
What do deductions (Abzüge) on your payslip mean?
Sometimes money is deducted from your net earnings. These are known as “Netto-Abzüge” (net deductions). For example, if your employer provides you with a flat and deducts the rent from your wages. Some deductions are not legally permitted. Your employer is only allowed to deduct money from your net earnings if your net earnings are not below the seizure exemption limit.