The minimum wage guarantees minimal effort

Minimum wage: What exceptions does the legislator provide?

In the year 2015 was a statutory minimum wage in Germany introduced. It is now 9.50 euros (as of January 2021) gross per hour and is intended to ensure that employees who work full-time, their total cost of living can cover with their salary.

A special one Commission made up of employer and employee representatives usually checked every two yearswhether a minimum wage increase would be appropriate.

In this decision, among others, play the Tariff developments of the last few years. But really benefit all workers from the statutory lower wage limit or there are certain minimum wages Exceptions? Information about the Minimum remuneration and the associated Exceptions can be found in the guide.

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Compact knowledge: exceptions to the minimum wage

Which law is dedicated to minimum wage regulations?

The regulations on minimum wages and the exceptions to them are defined in the Minimum Wage Act (MiLoG).

Who is exempt from the minimum wage?

Compulsory interns, young people under the age of 18 without completed vocational training, trainees, volunteer workers, long-term unemployed, freelancers and the self-employed do not receive a minimum wage. Since January 1, 2020, there has been a separate minimum remuneration for trainees. You can find information about this here.

What options do I have if my boss refuses to pay the minimum wage?

If you are not one of the exceptions to the minimum wage and your employer still refuses to pay it, you can use these options.

When does the minimum wage have to be paid and when not?

The regulations on the statutory lower wage limit define this Minimum Wage Act (MiLoG). In addition to the respective Minimum wage amount is also regulated therein, who actually receives it. Section 1 (1) MiLoG says the following:

Every employee has the right to payment by the employer of at least the minimum wage. "

As is so often the case in labor law, there are also some with regard to the minimum wage Exceptions. These are in Section 22 MiLoG held and close following persons a:

  • Compulsory interns
  • Young people under 18 years of age without completed vocational training
  • trainee
  • Volunteers
  • Long-term unemployed
  • freelancer
  • Self-employed
Out what reasons the named persons as Exceptions to the minimum wage apply and in which extensive they are excluded from this, we will clarify in detail below.

Minimum wage: The exceptions only apply to an internship to a limited extent

As a rule, employers have to do an internshipnot pay with the minimum wage. However, the exceptions to the lower wage limit apply not for all types of internshipwhy interns in certain circumstances but a claim have to be with At least 9.50 euros (as of January 2021) gross per hour to be rewarded.

Below we go possible cases through and explain whether in relation to the minimum wage Exceptions may or may not exist:

  • The intern is at least 18 years old: If the respective intern is of legal age, he usually has to receive the minimum wage. If, on the other hand, he is still a minor, he is only entitled to it if he has completed vocational training.
  • The internship lasts longer than three months: It is absolutely normal that interns usually need a certain amount of time to find their way around the company. For this reason, the legislature only grants them a right to the minimum wage after three months. In this case, the exceptions only apply in the time in which they still have to be trained.
  • It is a voluntary internship: Anyone who decides to complete a voluntary internship of a maximum of three months during their training or studies does not receive a minimum wage. The same applies, for example, to students who are not yet sure whether a certain occupation is right for them and who are therefore aiming for an orientation internship. However, if internships of this type exceed a period of three months, the interns are entitled to the minimum wage. The exceptions from the MiLoG also stipulate retroactive payment of the minimum wage if the internship is extended after three months.
  • It's about a compulsory internship: If the university or school makes the internship mandatory, employers do not have to pay a minimum wage. The exceptions here also relate to internships that are accompanied by an entry-level qualification in the company or preparation for training. Mandatory interns therefore do not have to receive a gross hourly rate of 9.50 euros (as of January 2021).

Why is there no minimum wage paid in training?

The exceptions related to the minimum wage continue to close trainee a. The reason for this is that training does not primarily serve the purpose of to earn moneyin order to be able to cover the cost of living. That is more in the foreground Learning certain skills and gaining experiencethat are necessary for the respective profession.

Trainees are therefore also not regarded as an employee. You do receive a fee, but it often falls rather low and should prepare the mostly young people to gradually become independent and without the financial support of their parents to get by. In addition, there is usually the possibility Child benefit to be claimed until the training is completed.

The fact that there are exceptions to the minimum wage is due, among other things, to the fact that it treats people as support should serve that in advance needed state aid despite employmentto be able to finance their lives. After all, this is the case in training rather not the case.

However: Even if not the statutory minimum wage in training is paid, it does not automatically mean that there is none Minimum remuneration for trainees gives. Since January 1, 2020 this is the case after all. Trainees who want theirs Teaching started in 2020, benefit from one in their first year of training separate minimum wage. This is currently 550 euros per month (Status: 2021) and should be increased slightly every year. Apprenticeships that before that date are closed exempt from this regulation, however.

Voluntary work is also excluded from the minimum wage

Employees who unsalaried usually receive no remuneration at all. Therefore, they basically also apply not as an employee.

In certain cases, however, a Expense allowance be paid as reimbursement of expenses pursuant to Section 670 of the German Civil Code (BGB) applies.

Also a little pocket money is possible to recognize the voluntary work. But regardless of the reasons for which volunteers are involved small amount received for their work: This must do not correspond to the minimum wage. The exceptions mentioned in § 22 MiLoG close voluntary work namely with a.

No minimum wage for the long-term unemployed: why?

Also Long-term unemployed are exceptions to the minimum wage. But from when are people considered to be such by law? The answer to this question provides Section 18 (1) of the Third Book of the Social Security Code (SGB III). There it says:

Long-term unemployed are unemployed who have been unemployed for a year or more. "

So employees had no job for more than a year and would like to start a new job, is yours first of all no minimum wage to. However, according to Section 22 (4) MiLoG, this only applies to the first six months of new employment.

Long-term unemployed are therefore in terms of minimum wage Part of the exceptions, however not entirely excluded. This regulation is based on the fact that the statutory minimum wage should not make it even more difficult for the unemployed to reintegrate into working life.

After all, some employers don't see people who do been out of work for so long, right on Starting salary at this level to pay and possibly opt for an applicant who might only recently is looking for a new job and is more likely to know what is going on in the respective industry.

Are there any industries without a minimum wage?

Already before the introduction of the statutory minimum wage For certain industries, special collective agreements governing the minimum wages in the respective industry applied. These were based on the Collective Agreement Act, the Temporary Employment Act or the Posted Workers Act and therefore existed even if the wages stipulated thereinwere lower than the statutory lower wage limit.

So collective agreements had one higher value than the minimum wage law. For this reason the exceptions related to the minimum wage came also used at this point. The problem was finally solved with various transitional regulationsto gradually approach the statutory minimum wage.

The regulations for this were in Section 24 MiLoG defined, but this paragraph has now been dropped. They also said that the deviating regulations through collective agreements only until December 31, 2017 Took precedence over the minimum wage. Since January 1, 2017 the industry-specific collectively agreed minimum wages at least 8.50 euros gross per hour lie, although the general minimum wage was already at that time 8.84 euros scam.

The exceptions associated with the minimum wage, the transitional arrangements just described were owed, referred to, among other things following industries:

  • Agriculture, Forestry & Horticulture: From January 1, 2015, the price was 7.40 euros, from January 1, 2016, 8.00 euros (West Germany), from January 1, 2015, 7.20 euros, from January 1, 2016, 7.90 euros (East Germany and Berlin), from January 1, 2017 EUR 8.60 and from November 1, 2017 EUR 9.10.
  • Laundry service provider: Up to July 2016, EUR 8.00 was paid and from July 1, 2016 EUR 8.75 (East Germany and Berlin).
  • Textile industry: From January 1, 2015, EUR 7.50 was paid, EUR 8.25 from January 1, 2016 and EUR 8.75 from November 1, 2016 (East Germany).
These transitional arrangements made it possible for workers to work in certain sectors completely legally less than 8.84 euros gross per hour earned back then. Important: Since January 1, 2018 applies the statutory minimum wage in every industry - without exceptions or transitional regulations. So the transition period is finally expired.

Newspaper deliverers were also among the exceptions to the minimum wage

Section 24 MiLoG also regulated those related to the minimum wage Exceptions for newspaper deliverers. Even if the statutory lower wage limit is already in the year 2015 was introduced - this professional group could benefit from it not at first. This was because it was agreed that the hourly remuneration was paid Step by step to adapt to the minimum wage.

In Section 24 (2) MiLoG it said:

Newspaper deliverers are entitled to 75 percent from January 1, 2015 and 85 percent from January 1, 2016 to 85 percent of the minimum wage in accordance with Section 1 (2) sentence 1. From January 1, 2017 to December 31, 2017, the minimum wage for Newspaper deliverers gross EUR 8.50 per hour. "

As a result, the exceptions associated with the minimum wage for the fact that newspaper deliverers first since January 1, 2018 had to be paid with the then still valid 8.84 euros gross per hour. Interesting: From this scheme were deliverers only affected that exclusively Advertising papers and newspapers to deliver. Come for example Letters or advertising brochures in addition, there was already a claim to the Payment of the minimum wage in full.

Who controls whether the minimum wage is paid?

The Financial Control of Undeclared Work (VCS) checks in Germany whether the minimum wage and the exceptions also be respected. Since the control of the Compliance with industry-specific minimum wages has already been in her area of ​​responsibility, she has a high level of experience in this area. A comprehensive review can, however, be based on Shortage of staff cannot really be guaranteed at the moment.

Is a in the respective company Works council present, he should therefore also ensure that everything is done with the right things with regard to the minimum wage and the exceptions. This does not just refer to the relevant workers at least 9.50 euros (as of January 2021) gross per hour, but also to compliance with certain Record keeping.

According to § 21 MiLoG Fines of up to 500,000 euros possible if employers do not adhere to these duties or refuse to pay their employees the statutory minimum wage. However, if an employee falls under the exceptions associated with the minimum wage, employers can usually freely decide on the respective remuneration.

When the boss refuses to pay the minimum wage

Count as an employee Not to those associated with the minimum wage Exceptions and you The employer still refusesTo pay you at least 9.50 euros (as of January 2021) gross per hour, you must and should do not accept it without further ado.

Below we have you some possibilities In summary, that you can consider adding to your Right to the minimum wage enforce:

  • Document your working hours as well as your pay slips meticulously: Especially if the working hours are not recorded by an appropriate program, you should make sure that you write everything down without any gaps. In addition to the evidence that is required anyway, you can also prove where your boss might have cheated.
  • Involve the works council (if any): If there is a works council in your company, you should contact them if your boss does not care about the minimum wage or the exceptions. If you choose to go through the works council, you don't have to mess with your employer and you usually remain anonymous.
  • Use the minimum wage hotline or contact customs directly: You can reach the minimum wage hotline of the Federal Ministry of Labor under the telephone number 030/60280028 (Monday - Thursday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.), which can inform you about questions about the minimum wage, exceptions or possible sanctions. You will not receive professional legal advice there, but you can, for example, anonymously report if your boss violates the provisions of the Minimum Wage Act. However, you can do this directly at customs. In such a case, he will check whether there has been a violation at all and then initiate further steps if necessary.
Perform all of these options not to the desired result, willy-nilly there is only one thing left for you: the minimum wage to sue in court. In advance, however, you should definitely seek advice from an employment law attorney, as this step involves some effort and expense connected is. Definitely clarify in advance whether you are among the exceptions associated with the minimum wagebefore you get that ball rolling.
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Minimum wage: What exceptions does the legislator provide?
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