Germany: End of wage dumping in sight for domestic and foreign employees in German slaughterhouses
For years the wages of German meat industry employees have been kept as low as possible. A stop should be put to this now – according to the German federal cabinet.
In January the first ever collective agreement was concluded for the meat industry, with an hourly minimum wage of 7.75 EUR, to be raised in stages up to 8.75 EUR by December 2016. Now the minimum wage will bind all companies by including the meat industry in the German Employee Assignment Act.
The original aim of the Employee Assignment Act was to set working conditions for foreign employees sent by foreign employers to Germany to provide cross-border services, especially in the primary and secondary construction industry.
In addition, the Act legally enables application of minimum working conditions from federal collective agreements generally to domestic employees as well.
Mandatory working conditions refer to wages (minimum wage), holiday entitlement and other terms.
In this way, the minimum wage provisions from a collective agreement apply to foreign and domestic employees via the Employee Assignment Act.
The amendment to the Act will be completed by July 2014. Once this is approved by the Federal Council, the German Employment Ministry will begin to declare the collective agreement as generally binding. In autumn 2014 the minimum wage of 7.75 EUR will come into force for all meat industry employees working in Germany.