German labor law provides for a high level of protection for employees.
This strong level of guarantee is expressed above all in the principle of equal treatment, which is a corollary of the principle of equality.
Equal treatment unfolds its effects in two different directions, namely in the Community obligation of equal treatment of EU citizens compared to citizens of a particular Member State, and in the general principle of equal treatment of workers within the same place of work.
The principle of equal treatment of workers prohibits the employer from discriminating against individual workers or groups of workers in comparison with other workers who are in a similar situation. An exception to this rule occurs only when the difference in treatment is due to an "objective reason".
Another expression of the guarantee of German labor law is the attention paid by the legislator to remuneration.
In Germany, in fact, the minimum wage is fixed by a special law, known as Gesetz zur Regelung eines allgemeinen Mindestlohns (Mindestlohngesetz - MiLoG).
If the German Customs Agency finds irregularities in wages, it will oblige the employer to pay both the minimum wage and a financial penalty. The employer has a duty to pay the minimum wage to his employee, even if he is not satisfied with the employeeʼs Performance.
As of 1 January 2020, the minimum wage is EUR 9.35 gross per hour actually worked. In general, the wages of collective bargaining agreements are higher than the minimum wages required by law and, as such, more advantageous for the employee.
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Note: Information provided in this Knowledge Database is for orientation only and not binding.