European Foundation
for the Improvement of
Living and Working Conditions

The tripartite EU agency providing knowledge to assist
in the development of better social, employment and
work-related policies

COVID-19 EU PolicyWatch

Database of national-level responses

Eurofound's COVID-19 EU PolicyWatch collates information on the responses of government and social partners to the crisis, as well as gathering examples of company practices aimed at mitigating the social and economic impacts.

Factsheet for case DE-2020-33/1152 – measures in Germany

Premium for hospital workers

COVID-19 Prämie für Klinikbeschäftigte

Country Germany , applies regionally
Time period Temporary, started on 11 August 2020
Type Bipartite collective agreements
Category Ensuring business continuity and support for essential services
– Remuneration and rewards for workers in essential services
Author Birgit Kraemer (Hans Boeckler Foundation) and Eurofound
Case created 17 September 2020 (updated 23 November 2020)

Background information

Hospital workers face strong constraints because of the pandemic and an above average risk of infections. Staff shortages, long working hours and a high work load of care workers in hospitals is a long standing problem. Whereas public hospitals are covered by public sector agreements concluded with either the municipal employers or with the 16 federal states, private hospitals settle company agreements, if at all. During the COVID-19 pandemic, ver.di reached several single-employer agreements on a COVID-19 premium.

Content of measure

Ver.di has been campaigning for a pay rise and better working conditions for hospital workers for a long time. Local pacts for better care (Lokale Bündnisse Pflege) call for better conditions in hospitals. Several hospitals in public ownership reacted by agreeing on a COVID-19 premium. The amount of the premium varies.

The first agreement was reached with a public hospital group in Baden-Württemberg. The employer agreed on paying a premium of €500 for three months and also to include service companies into the provision. Similar agreements were settled with companies in Berlin, Saxony and in some other federal states.

Use of measure

No data. In total, the number of these single-employer ageements on premia for hospital care workers is very low.

This is why the public insurance funds together with the German Hospital Society (Deutsche Krankenhausgeselleschaft) - the interest organisation of hospitals - and the federal minister for health are now in debate over a scheme of publically funded premia scheme.


  • Bonuses

Target groups

Workers Businesses Citizens
Workers in essential services
Does not apply to businesses Does not apply to citizens

Actors and funding

Actors Funding
Social partners jointly
Company / Companies

Social partners

Social partners' role in designing the measure and form of involvement:

Trade unions Employers' organisations
Role Agreed (outcome) incl. social partner initiative No involvement
Form Not applicable Not applicable

Social partners' role in the implementation, monitoring and assessment phase:

  • Only trade unions
  • Main level of involvement: Company level


  1. There is no collective bargaining structure for Germany's private hospital sector. This concerns private hospitals in public ownership, which are not covered by public sector CBAs.
  2. Employer organisations were not involved, only single employers (private hospitals). The agreements were individually settled between single employers and the United Services Union ver.di.
  3. The United Services Union ver.di pushed for the bonuses. Single employers are covering the cost of the premia.

Views and reactions

There is a broad consenus between employers and the United Services Union ver.di in support of the measure.

Sectors and occupations

    • Economic area Sector (NACE level 2)
      Q - Human Health And Social Work Activities Q86 Human health activities
    • Occupation (ISCO level 2)
      Health associate professionals
      Health professionals



Eurofound (2020), Premium for hospital workers , case DE-2020-33/1152 (measures in Germany), COVID-19 EU PolicyWatch, Dublin,

Disclaimer: This information has not been subject to the full Eurofound evaluation, editorial and publication process. All information is preliminary and subject to change.