04. Aug 15

BAG: Minimum wage also needs to be paid in the event of sickness and on holidays

The German Federal Labour Court (Bundesarbeitsgericht (BAG)) in Erfurt ruled on May 13, 2015 that employees are entitled to be paid the statutory minimum wage even in the event of sickness and on holidays.

GRP Rainer Lawyers and Tax Advisors in Cologne, Berlin, Bonn, Düsseldorf, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Munich, Stuttgart and London - www.grprainer.com/en conclude: The national minimum wage applies as of this year to employees in Germany. It was contentious whether the minimum wage also has to be paid on holidays or if the employee is sick, but the BAG has now given a clear answer, stating that the minimum wage must also be paid in these instances.

An employee had sued before the BAG for payment of the minimum wage in the event of sickness and on holidays. The most senior labour judges agreed with the judgments of the previous instances and found in favour of the employee. Her employer, a training and further education firm, wanted to pay a lower company wage in the event of sickness or on holidays. The Federal Labour Court would not allow this practice. The judges ruled that if an employee is not able to work owing to illness or because it is a holiday, he is nevertheless entitled to the payment he would have received if he had worked.

For the time being, the BAG’s ruling applies to the roughly 22,000 employees across Germany working at training and further education firms, yet it can be expected that this jurisprudence will also be translated to other cases involving minimum wage legislation.

Minimum wage legislation sets out a lot of obligations for employers. In particular, they not only have to themselves pay the minimum wage that is customary in their sector, but are also liable if they engage subcontractors. These subcontractors have to pay the minimum wage as well. The so-called general contractor is liable in the event that infringements occur.

Furthermore, employers are obliged, inter alia, to document in detail the working hours of marginally employed persons and hold on to the records over a period of two years.

Minimum wage legislation has brought with it many more obligations for employers and many issues remain unresolved. Those concerned can turn to lawyers who are competent in the field of labour law should they have questions regarding the minimum wage and other topics related to labour law.

For more informations: https://www.grprainer.com/en/legal-advice/employment-law.html

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