BERLIN -- Germany has no plans to set a limit on top managers' pay, the government said on Wednesday, but added it did not rule out some form of control if measures to increase corporate transparency did not bring pay closer into line with performance.
"It is possible that there could be some thought given to how one might link certain salary developments with certain indicators," a justice ministry spokeswoman said, adding that there were no firm plans.
"The justice ministry is currently following the line that stronger transparency in forming salaries would avoid the need for any legislative capping measures," she said.
She said Justice Minister Brigitte Zypries wanted to see the impact of recommendations from a government-appointed committee on corporate governance and pay over the next 12 months before forming any concrete plans.
Economy Minister Wolfgang Clement welcomed the debate and said he believed in a voluntary approach rather than mandatory.
The issue of management pay has re-emerged as a major theme in Germany in the wake of a dispute over working hours at carmaker DaimlerChrysler AG.
The company's management has offered to take a 10 percent pay cut as its contribution to cost cuts to help resolve the dispute with the unions, but this fuelled a big debate in Germany on the subject of management pay.
The former head of DaimlerChrysler, Edzard Reuter, said on Wednesday that caps on managers' pay should be fixed by legislation if companies failed to set voluntary limits.
German companies have traditionally not revealed management salaries but have started to publish some information in their annual reports following the recommendations of the commission on corporate governance and pay.
Managers who have presided over sharp falls in the value of their company's stock have come under heavy criticism for not taking a similar pay cut.