Germany: German minimum wage applies to all employees who work in Germany – including truck drivers who cross Germany
Starting from 1 January 2015 a minimum wage of 8.50 EUR per hour applies to all employees whose place of work is in Germany – irrespective of their country of origin or the country in which they are employed. This also applies to all truck drivers who cross Germany. The “Law on Minimum Wages” imposes several duties on employers (including foreign employers) that employ drivers who work – at least a certain time – in Germany. These duties are outlined below.
Compulsory registration of employees
Foreign employers need to register their employees who will be working in Germany with the competent German authorities (Bundesfinanzdirektion West in Cologne) before they start their work. Registration needs to be fulfilled by using the correct blank form for “employment planning”. The filled-in form may be sent to the authorities by telefax. The drivers do not need to carry the form with them.
Keeping records of working hours
Additionally, employers need to keep a record of the daily working hours of their drivers. They need to record the beginning, end and duration of drivers’ daily working time. Recording needs to take place no later than the seventh day from the respective working day. Records need to be keep for at least two years starting from the day relevant for registration (i.e. working day + 8 days + 2 years). There is no special form for recording data, which may also be kept in electronic form.
For truck drivers the duty to record is simplified: Under certain circumstances drivers only need to record the duration of their daily work (but not the beginning and end). However, this only applies if the employee can independently decide on their working time and breaks.
Keeping necessary documentation ready in Germany
Employers must keep necessary documentation available in Germany for inspection by the German customs authorities (who are competent to check compliance with minimum wage requirements). Documentation includes:
- A copy of the employment contract (or all relevant information under directive 91/533/EWG).
- Records of working hours (see above).
- Payroll slips.
- Evidence of actual payment of wages.
All documentation must be kept in Germany, in German. Employers may decide themselves where in Germany the documentation is kept.