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Frequently asked questions about the minimum wage

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 statutory minimum wage?
In principle, all employees are entitled to the statutory minimum wage.

However, the minimum wage law provides for certain exceptions. No employees within the meaning of the Minimum Wages Act are, for example, trainees under the Vocational Training Act or home workers under the Home Work Act. Self-employed persons are also not covered by the minimum wage law.

3. Is there a right to a minimum wage even if the employer is based abroad?
The right to a statutory minimum wage exists irrespective of whether the employer is domiciled in Germany or abroad as long as the employee is employed in Germany. Employees who are only temporarily employed in Germany are also entitled to the statutory minimum wage as long as they perform their work on the territory of the Federal Republic of Germany.

4. Is the entitlement to a minimum wage dependent on the size of the holding?
The entitlement to a minimum wage is independent of the size of the company.

5. are employees entitled to a minimum wage even during on-call time?
In principle, on-call times are also to be remunerated with the minimum wage if, according to the case law of the Federal Labour Court, they are to be treated as working times subject to remuneration.

6. Which benefits of the employer are „minimum wage effective“?
In principle, only premiums that are paid out in cash are minimum wage effective, unless they are performed 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.

7. Is the deferred compensation at least wage effective?
If the employer pays part of the salary for deferred compensation, this payment is deductible from the minimum wage.

8. Does the claim to a minimum wage expire?
Claims for overdue wages shall only become statute-barred after three years, beginning at the end of the year in which the claim for wages arose.

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

9. 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.

10. What options are available to employees who have not received or have not received the statutory minimum wage?
Employees who have not received the respective statutory minimum wage can sue their employer before the labour court for payment of the overdue wage. 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.

All information about the minimum wage in Germany can be found on our overview page.

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Über den Autor

István Cocron ist Spezialist im Bereich der Beratung von Start-Ups und Unternehmen, im Gesellschafts- und Kapitalanlagerecht sowie der Vertretung von Versicherungsnehmern. Er besitzt umfangreiche forensische Erfahrung und hat bereits etliche Großverfahren für Anleger und Verbraucher aus dem gesamten Bundesgebiet betreut. Rechtsanwalt Cocron beschäftigt sich zudem seit mehren Jahren mit den neuesten Entwicklungen aus dem Bereich der IT, insbesondere den Themen Blockchain und Cryptocurrencies. Er besitzt langjährige Erfahrung im Bereich der nationalen und internationalen Zwangsvollstreckung, ist Mitglied mehrerer Gläubigerausschüsse sowie nationaler und internationaler Vereinigungen von Juristen. Rechtsanwalt Cocron ist Gründungspartner der Kanzlei CLLB Rechtsanwälte.
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