Germany suspends move to push minimum wage onto foreign hauliers

By bne IntelliNews February 1, 2015

Germany has agreed to suspend new legislation on minimum wages that Poland and others say threaten 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 those truck drivers just passing through. The rules have 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 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 raised huge complaints over the issue. The Polish transport industry 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 have 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

Hungarian PM's "proxy" moves into the nuclear industry as Paks tenders approach

Firms controlled by Hungarian oligarch Lorinc Meszaros have purchased a 51% stake in the Hungarian subsidiary of Czech nuclear ... more

Czech PM accepts new nominee for finance minister

Reducing the political tension in the country a little, Czech Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka accepted on May 17 the nomination of a new finance minister from coalition partner Ano. Meanwhile, ... more

RBI doubles net profit y/y in Q1 as Russian business recovers

Raiffeisen Bank International (RBI), the second largest bank operating across Central and Eastern Europe by assets, reported that net profit almost doubled year-on-year to €220mn in the first ... more

Register here to continue reading this article and 2 more for free or purchase 12 months full website access including the bne Magazine for just $119/year.

Already a subscriber or registered - click here to recover access.

If you a IntelliNews Pro user - click here to login.

Thank you. Please complete your registration by confirming your email address.
A confirmation email has been sent to the email address you provided.

To continue viewing our content you need to complete the registration process.

Please look for an email that was sent to with the subject line "Confirmation bne IntelliNews access". This email will have instructions on how to complete registration process. Please check in your "Junk" folder in case this communication was misdirected in your email system.

Already a subscriber or registered - click here to recover access.

If you a IntelliNews Pro user - click here to login.

If you have any questions please contact us at sales@intellinews.com

Subscribe to bne IntelliNews website and magazine

Subscribe to bne IntelliNews website and monthly magazine, the leading source of business, economic and financial news and commentary in emerging markets.

Your subscription includes:
  • Full access to the bne content daily news and features on the website
  • Newsletters direct to your mailbox
  • Print and digital subscription to the monthly bne magazine
  • Digital subscription to the weekly bne newspaper

Already a subscriber or registered - click here to recover access.

If you a IntelliNews Pro user - click here to login.

bne IntelliNews
$119 per year

All prices are in US dollars net of applicable taxes.

If you have any questions please contact us at sales@intellinews.com

Register for free to read bne IntelliNews Magazine. You'll receive a free digital subscription.

Already a subscriber or registered - click here to recover access.

If you a IntelliNews Pro user - click here to login.

Thank you. Please complete your registration by confirming your email address.
A confirmation email has been sent to the email address you provided.

IntelliNews Pro offers daily news updates delivered to your inbox and in-depth data reports.
Get the emerging markets newswire that financial professionals trust.

"No day starts for my team without IntelliNews Pro" — UBS

Thank-you for requesting an IntelliNews Pro trial. Our team will be in contact with you shortly.

Dismiss