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Istvan Cocron

Lawyer / legal advice on the minimum wage in Germany

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On this page we inform you about the minimum wage which was introduced in Germany in 2015 with the Minimum Wage Act (MiLoG). We will be happy to advise you on your individual situation in a personal meeting.

The most important facts in a nutshell
  • Every employee in Germany is entitled to the current minimum wage of €8.84 per hour (€9.19 per hour from 01.01.2019)
  • Companies are legally obliged to pay their employees in Germany according to the minimum wage – even if the company is based abroad
  • Employees who have not received a minimum wage in the past can also sue for it retroactively

The minimum wage in Germany

Already in 2015, the Minimum Wage Act (MiLoG) was introduced in Germany, which prescribes a statutory minimum wage of € 8.50 per hour and was increased to € 8.84 per hour in 2017.

On 31.10.2018, the Federal Cabinet decided to raise the minimum wage to €9.19 per hour from 01.01.2019.

Who is entitled to the minimum wage?

In principle, every employee is entitled to the minimum wage regardless of the size of the company. Even if the company is based abroad – if you work in Germany, you have been entitled to the minimum wage of € 8.84 per hour since 2017 (€ 9.19 from January 2019). This also applies to employees who are only employed for a short period in Germany.

Despite this entitlement, thousands of employees do not receive the minimum wage. As reported by Zeit-online on 31.10.2018, 800,000 people in Germany earned less than the minimum wage in 2017, even though they generally fell under the Minimum Wage Act.

We will be happy to assess your individual situation.

And who is excluded from the minimum wage?

Not every employee is entitled to the minimum wage. The following occupational groups are excluded from the minimum wage:

  • Young people under 18 (without vocational training)
  • apprentice
  • interns
  • long-term unemployed persons
  • freelance employees
  • honorary employees
  • homeworker

In which occupational groups is the minimum wage particularly frequently not paid?

The introduction of the statutory minimum wage has had a positive effect on many occupational groups. Nevertheless, although companies are obliged to pay the minimum wage, many employees still do not receive it. The following occupational groups are particularly often left out in the cold:

Minimum wage for agricultural and forestry workers

Agricultural and forestry workers

Minimum wage for postal and parcel deliverers

Postal and parcel deliverers

Minimum wage for newspaper deliverer

Newspaper deliverer

Can my employer pay me less than the minimum wage?

No, your employer is legally obliged to pay you the minimum wage of €8.84 per hour since 2017 or €9.19 per hour from January 2019. Failure to comply with this law could result in high fines for your employer.

What can I do if my employer does not pay me the minimum wage?

If you do not receive the statutory minimum wage from your employer, it is best to first talk to your boss. Make him aware that he is legally obliged to pay the minimum wage.

Wenig Münzen im Geldbeutel

If this does not improve the situation, you can sue for the minimum wage in court. The difference between the salary actually paid and the minimum wage can be claimed – even retroactively for up to three years. Due to the statutory limitation period of three years, beginning at the end of the year in which the claim arose, wage claims can, for example, be asserted in court until 31.12.2018 from 2015 onwards. Our lawyers will be happy to advise you on your chances of success in a personal and non-binding telephone conversation.

Would you like legal advice on the minimum wage?

Further questions

Many employees are still uncertain about the minimum wage. Below you will find further answers to frequently asked questions.

Does my entitlement to a minimum wage expire?

Your entitlement to overdue pay does not expire until three years after the end of the year in which you were entitled to it.

The statutory provision stipulates that the minimum wage entitlement is protected against any exclusion periods under the employment contract or any waivers.

Which benefits of the employer are minimum wage effective?

In principle, premiums paid in cash are included in the minimum wage and are therefore effective as a minimum wage, unless they are paid regardless of the actual work performed or have a legal basis. As a rule, benefits in kind provided by the employer are not minimum wage effective.

Is the deferred compensation minimum wage effective?

If the employer pays part of the salary for a deferred compensation (e.g. the payment into a company pension contract), this payment is added to the minimum wage and is therefore effective as the minimum wage.

Is the minimum wage also payable in the event of illness?

The Federal Labour Court already decided in May 2015 in connection with an „industry minimum wage“ that the industry minimum wage must also be paid for the period of the illness.

 

We will be happy to advise you on your case – Secure a non-binding initial consultation now!

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Letzte Aktualisierung: 8. Januar 2019

Your contact person

István Cocron is a specialist in advising start-ups and companies, in corporate and investment law and in representing policyholders. He has extensive forensic experience and has already handled several major proceedings for investors and consumers throughout Germany. Attorney Cocron has also been dealing for several years with the latest developments in the field of IT, in particular the topics of blockchain and cryptocurrencies. He has many years of experience in the field of national and international enforcement, is a member of several committees of creditors and national and international associations of lawyers. Attorney Cocron is founding partner of the law firm CLLB Rechtsanwälte.
Contact him in the following ways
+49 30 / 288 789 620

 

Current articles on the subject of minimum wages

When are employer premiums deducted from the minimum wage?

28.10.2018 | Themen:
Istvan Cocron 28.10.2018 27. November 2018

Many employees ask themselves whether premiums paid by the employer are „minimum wage effective“. In its ruling of 8 November 2017, the 5th Senate of the Federal Labour Court (Bundesarbeitsgericht) ruled under file number 5 AZR 692/16 that at least certain bonuses are effective as minimum wages if the employer also rewards the work performance […]

weiterlesen

Frequently asked questions about the minimum wage

25.10.2018 | Themen:
Istvan Cocron 25.10.2018 27. November 2018

We have summarised the most frequently asked questions on the subject of minimum wages for you here. 1. What is the statutory minimum wage? Since 01.01.2017 the legal minimum wage is € 8,84 per hour. From 01.01.2019 the statutory minimum wage will be raised to € 9.19 per hour. 2. Who is entitled to the […]

weiterlesen
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