04. May 15

Minimum wage creates new obligations for employers

The statutory minimum wage of 8.50 euros per hour applies in Germany as of this year. One in every eight businesses, or twelve per cent, throughout Germany are affected by the minimum wage.

GRP Rainer Lawyers and Tax Advisors in Cologne, Berlin, Bonn, Düsseldorf, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Munich, Stuttgart and London - www.grprainer.com/en conclude: Although this rule sounds simple and clear, it raises many questions and also demands quite a lot of employers.

This is because there are also exceptions to the statutory minimum wage. Minimum wage legislation covers all employees. It is irrelevant whether the job is full-time, part-time or a “mini-job”. Employers have to pay the statutory minimum wage. For the purpose of this legislation, apprentices, self-employed persons and volunteers are not considered to be employees. Moreover, people under the age of 18 who have not completed a vocational training course are exempted from the minimum wage. In the case of the long-term unemployed who have been without a job for one year or longer, the minimum wage need only be paid following the first six months of the employment relationship. There are also exception that apply to interns.

Compensation for overtime can be arranged in different ways. Employer and employee can agree to remunerate overtime with compensatory time off. In that case, the latter does not have to be paid the minimum wage. This agreement regarding a flexitime wage record must be made in writing.

However, employers are not merely responsible for making sure that the statutory minimum wage is paid within their own companies. If, for instance, sub-contractors are engaged, employers are also liable for ensuring that the minimum wage is paid in these companies. The so-called general contractor is then liable for any infringements of minimum wage legislation.

Furthermore, minimum wage legislation requires substantial documentation obligations of employers in the case of persons in marginal employment. The beginning, end and duration of the daily working time have to be recorded and retained for a period of two years. This particularly affects industries such as catering, passenger transportation, industrial cleaning or transport haulage. The employer is not allowed to count holiday pay towards the minimum wage.

Minimum wage legislation encompasses many obligations and, as always, there are issues that remain unresolved. Where there are questions concerning the minimum wage and other employment-related issues, those concerned can turn to lawyers who are competent in the field of labour law.

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

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