Germany postpones truckers' minimum wage rules

By bne IntelliNews February 2, 2015

bne IntelliNews -

 

Germany has agreed to suspend new legislation on minimum wages that Poland says threatened its huge transport sector.

The German government will delay new regulations stipulating that the country's new €8.5 per hour minimal wage should be applied to all employees working on German soil, even truck drivers just passing through. The rules had alarmed Polish transport enterprises which use German roads extensively.

Following talks with German counterpart Andrea Nahles, Polish Labour Minister Wladyslaw Kosiniak-Kamysz announced on January 30 that Berlin has agreed that the German regulations will not be applied until the European Union makes a decision on the issue. 

Nahles said controls by state authorities to check whether foreign drivers were being paid the minimum wage would be suspended. Warsaw has complained about the potential impact on its transport industry, which provides around 10% of GDP. 

Transport firms in surrounding countries are also infuriated by the prospect of having to register employment details with the German authorities. Alongside Poland, grievances had been voiced by the Czech Republic, Hungary and Romania.

The suspension of the regulations will apply only to drivers who do not load or unload in Germany. “This will allow us to come to terms with the different interpretations of the law," the German labour minister said. "In the view of the federal government the current regime is compliant with EU law.”

The Visegrad countries have asked the EU to get involved after Germany introduced its first ever minimum wage this year. Transport Commissioner Violeta Bulc recently sent a letter to the German government to challenge the move. The European Commission has told Berlin the legislation may hinder free movement of goods and services.

“We see the decision of the authorities to suspend the application of specific aspects of the law pending legal clarification as a positive step,” the European Commission said in a statement.

 
 

Related Articles

UK demands for EU reform provoke fury in Visegrad

bne IntelliNews - The Visegrad states raised a chorus of objection on November 10 as the UK prime minister demanded his country's welfare system be allowed to discriminate between EU citizens. The ... more

Czech food producer Hame seen next on the menu for Chinese giant

bne IntelliNews - Following a smorgasbord of acquisitions in late summer, China Energy Company Limited (CEFC) is eyeing yet another small Czech purchase, with food ... more

INTERVIEW: Babis slams coalition partners, but Czech govt seems safe for now

Benjamin Cunningham in Prague - Even as the Czech governing coalition remains in place and broadly popular, tensions between Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka and Finance Minister Andrej Babis remain ... more

Notice: Undefined index: subject_id in /var/www/html/application/controllers/IndexController.php on line 335
Dismiss