The Bosch Group has said that it is bringing forward a 2.7% payrise to its German workforce by two months.

The auto components company said it will be paying its workforce in Germany 2.7% more from 1 February 2011 - two months earlier than the 1 April deadline agreed in the last collective bargaining round.

"With the economy having recovered faster than expected, we will now bring the collective agreement's flexible components to bear - this time to our associates' advantage," said Wolfgang Malchow, member of the board of management and director of industrial relations.

Alfred Löckle, the chairman of the combined works council, said: "During the crisis, we deferred the collectively agreed pay raise. Now that the situation has improved, it goes without saying that we can bring the raise forward."

In its most recent outlook for fiscal 2010, the company forecast a sales increase of 20% to EUR46bn.

The company said that in bringing the pay raise forward, it was also rewarding associates' willingness to accept lower bonuses during the economic and financial crisis.

Löckle said: "During these difficult times, our associates displayed strong loyalty. This is not a matter of course. "We owe all of them a great debt of thanks," Malchow said.

Some 85,000 employees will receive the early pay raise.

During the crisis, Bosch introduced shorter working hours for as many as 65,000 workers in Germany. At the end of September, only around 4,300 were still affected by such schemes.