Employment Law

The German Minimum Wage

After a long time coming, Germany will finally get its first minimum wage legislation. The question whether it would cripple Germany by bankrupting SMEs or help more people into jobs has been hotly debated and probably still is. So as of 1 January 2015 employees are entitled to at least EURO 8,50 per hour, which is rather on the low side (at around $16 NZ). In comparison, when Switzerland last year discussed introducing a minimum wage, the proposal was for $25 NZ. And it was rejected because most employees in Switzerland earn more than that anyway.

But Germany wouldn’t be Germany if there weren’t a lot of exemptions and buts and ifs in the legislation. So trainees are out as are people who haven’t completed a professional training. In other words, all the unskilled workers, who should actually benefit from a m

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