Minimum wage in Germany applicable as of 1 January 2015
On 1 January 2015, the law providing for a minimum wage of EUR 8.50 per hour will become applicable in Germany. It will cover the transport sector and will apply to German and foreign operators performing transport activities on the territory of Germany (cabotage, international transport operations to and from Germany, transit).
Obligation to notify
Following information needs to be submitted by foreign transport operators to the Bundesfinanzdirektion West in Cologne before starting a transport operation on German territory:
- Last name, first name and date of birth of the employee
- Start and estimated duration of the operation on German territory
- Address where documents are stored
- A letter certifying that, upon request, employers will provide the proof that the minimum wage was paid to the driver (first registration)
The notification is to be sent in writing and in German language. It can contain all operations for a period of up to 6 months.
Modifications of planned transport operations do not need to be notified to German Customs once a first notification has been done.
Storage of documents
The employer must record the start, end and duration of the hours worked on German territory at the latest 7 days after the transport operation is performed. This document is to be stored for at least 2 years on German or foreign territory. If the document is stored abroad, an affirmation needs to be added which guarantees that requested documents are at the disposal of German Customs in order to facilitate verification.
Employers will have to respect the statutory minimum wage, valid from the beginning of 2015, or otherwise will face back pay and fines as high as 500.000 euros.
Several information centres have been set up in order to reply to questions on the German minimum wage. Those questions can be addressed either to the German Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs or directly to German Customs.