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EU: German minimum wage law on foreign truckers is illegal

 |  May 19, 2015

A German law ordering foreign truck drivers be paid the German minimum wage for any hours spent driving across the country is illegal, the European Commission said on Tuesday.

Germany introduced a minimum wage of 8.50 euros (5.48 pounds) an hour in January this year and would apply that to any employee working within German borders, whether or not the worker or the employer is based in Germany.

The provision angered many EU countries such as Poland, Denmark and Hungary.

The German minimum wage is higher than many earn in the Polish trucking industry, which has taken advantage of low costs to take a big share of the trans-European road freight business.

The Commission said applying the minimum wage to all transport operations that touch German territory runs counter to the EU principle of freedom to provide services.

Germany put the rule for foreign truckers on hold late in January pending the Commission’s decision.


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