Do workers really get minimum wages

What threats employers who do not adhere to the minimum wage law?

There has been a nationwide minimum wage in Germany since January 2015. Employers who either ignorantly or knowingly violate the regulations face heavy fines. When it comes to wages, employers must adhere to the collective agreements or the minimum wages regulated by law. The employee may be paid more than the minimum wage, but in no case less. If remuneration below the minimum wage was agreed in the employment contract, the employee can still demand the minimum wage - even retrospectively.

The Financial Control of Undeclared Work (FKS), which is based at customs, is responsible for compliance with the law. Compliance with the industry minimum wages has also been monitored by this so far. In order to be able to cope with the controls, the customs staff will be expanded by 1,600 positions.

What penalties do employers face?

If the employer does not pay the minimum wage, there is a risk of severe fines of up to 500,000 euros. The entrepreneur is not only liable for the payment of the minimum wage, but also for subcontractors who do not pay the hourly wage of 8.50 euros. If employers want to protect themselves so that they do not have to be liable for their subcontractors whose salaries they do not know, they can only do so with a security deposit of the remuneration or a guarantee.

Employers who do not adhere to the Minimum Wage Act must expect the following sanctions and additional claims:

➤ Fine of up to 500,000 euros

➤ Exclusion from the award of public contracts for "reasonable time"

➤ Employees can take legal action if they have not been paid the full minimum wage up to three years after the wage payment is due

➤ Subsequent claims of the social security agencies against the employers, even if the employee should not sue

Additional claims are therefore very expensive for the employer, according to the Social Security Code, the employer must also pay the so-called total social insurance contribution if additional social security contributions are claimed - i.e. not only the employer's share, but also the employee's share.

Further information on the topic:

Which professions benefit from the new minimum wage law?

How employers trick with the minimum wage

Which industries are affected by the minimum wage?

How is it checked that the companies really pay the minimum wage?