MIL OSI Translation. Region: Germany / Deutschland –
Source: DGB – Bundesvorstand 12.12.2020Evaluation of the statutory minimum wageMinimum wage: This is what it brought – and it has to happen now On January 1st, 2015, the statutory minimum wage was introduced in Germany. Since then, millions of people have benefited from it, all fears of the opponents – from massive job losses to the threat to entire industries – have not come true. Nevertheless, after almost six years, the balance sheet is mixed.
DGB / Hyejin Kang / 123rf.com
“We expect politics to intervene to make the minimum wage poverty-proof. At the same time, measures are needed to strengthen collective bargaining coverage. ”DGB board member Stefan Körzell
On January 1, 2015, the general statutory minimum wage was introduced in Germany. At that time it was 8.50 euros; on January 1, 2021, it rose to 9.50 euros gross per hour. As required by law, the Minimum Wage Act will be evaluated in 2020. The central questions: What has the minimum wage achieved so far? And where is there a need for change? To this end, the DGB is now presenting a paper with its assessment and concrete proposals. Success of the trade unions The introduction of the statutory minimum wage is a success for the trade unions and a milestone in restoring order on the labor market. It was necessary to stop the falling collective bargaining agreement and thus the decoupling of the lowest income from the general wage development. Hourly wages of 5 euros and below were not uncommon before, and with the introduction of the minimum wage, four million employees immediately had more money in their wallets – in some cases up to 20 percent. The minimum wage has led to higher hourly wages, especially for employees in eastern Germany, marginal part-time employees, people without vocational training, employees in smaller companies and women – and thus also has a positive impact on purchasing power and thus the economy found to be unfounded. The statutory minimum wage has neither hindered competition in Germany nor has it threatened individual sectors or skyrocketed unemployment figures. In the meantime, the minimum wage has gained approval across party lines, and in a recent survey, almost 80 percent of the population are in favor of an increase to 12 euros. Increase the minimum wage to 12 euros This is also a big problem with the minimum wage – and the main reason why the balance sheet of the DGB is not only positive after almost six years. Despite several increases, the minimum wage is still not at a living wage level. That is why the DGB and its member unions are calling on the federal government to quickly increase the minimum wage to 12 euros gross per hour and to make it clear that no other remuneration components may in future be offset against the payment of the minimum wage. This is the only way the statutory minimum wage can protect against Amut, even in old age. Extending the scope of application, abolishing exceptions In addition, the exceptions laid down in the law for long-term unemployed, young people under 18 and voluntary internships during training or studies must be abolished. Not only are they ineffective and unconstitutional, they also create legal uncertainty and discriminate against those affected. In addition, the minimum wage must also apply to employee-like people in the future. The DGB and its member unions believe that the DGB and its member unions require a number of measures to be taken in order to effectively counter the millionfold minimum wage fraud: significantly more controls, better coordination of controls, e.g. Increase the penalties for criminal employers drastically. Exclude minimum wage fraudsters from awarding public contracts and grants. Inform employees better about their rights and the current level of the minimum wage.
DGB / Simone M. Neumann
Stefan Körzell, DGB board member: “We draw a mixed balance. It is gratifying that the job losses feared by many economic researchers have not materialized. For many employees at the lowest income level, the wage structure has also stabilized. But there are still far too many criminal employers who circumvent the statutory minimum wage. Therefore, the controls (the financial control of illegal employment) and the penalties in case of fraud must be tightened. It must be clear to every employer: Fraud about the minimum wage is not a trivial offense. “
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EDITOR’S NOTE: This article is a translation. Apologies should the grammar and / or sentence structure not be perfect.