German minimum wage now considered in immigration applications

Although the Minimum Wage Act is not an immigration-specific requirement, labour authorities have started to consider whether foreign nationals are earning the general statutory minimum wage of €8.50 per hour.

Background

The Minimum Wage Act was implemented in January 2015 and applies to all workers in Germany, including foreign nationals with a foreign employer and temporary assignees. The Minimum Wage Act only permits allowances to be included in the calculation if they are intended to remunerate the employee for work. Allowances covering expenses such as housing and transportation costs cannot be included in Minimum Wage Act determinations, and per diem expenses can only be included under certain circumstances.

Violations of the Minimum Wage Act can result in fines of up to €500,000 or exclusion from public contract bids.

What This Means for Employers

Especially when assigning employees from countries with a lower wage level than in Germany, employers should ensure they comply with the Minimum Wage Act.

Stuart Beaty

Celsium, Birmingham, UK