Minimum wages in twelve branches at the end of 2013
Contrary to many other European countries, there is no statutory minimum wage across branches in Germany. However, the parties to collective agreements may agree upon minimum wages for specific economic branches. When they are declared binding by the Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs, they apply to all employers and employees of the branch concerned.
The main legal basis for lower wage limits in individual branches is the Posted Workers Act, which entered into force on 1 March 1996. The first minimum wages applying to whole branches were introduced in 1997 in the main construction industry and in the roofing and electrician trades. Six years later, the painting and varnishing trade and a decade after that, the first service branches (industrial cleaning in 2007 and letter mail services in 2008) joined the above branches.
Since that time, minimum wages have been extended to other branches every year, so that minimum wages were paid in a total of 15 economic branches between 1997 and 2013. As the minimum wage has been declared null and void for letter mail services and has expired in two other branches (special mining and commercial cleaning), minimum wages are applied in twelve branches at the end of 2013.