Boost to bureaucracy

19th of March 2015
Boost to bureaucracy

According to German reporter Thomas Schulte-Marxloh, the German government is accusing the contract cleaning sector of breaching rules concerning the minimum wage.

The contract cleaning business in Germany seems to have a bad reputation – at least in the eyes of some politicians, like the minister of labour and social affairs.

In order to justify the enormous bureaucracy coming with the introduction of the minimum wage by law, the minister refers to alleged breaches of rules by the contract cleaning business, says BIV (Federal association of the contract cleaning industry).

However, the contract cleaning industry has had binding minimum wages for decades and since 2007 a pay scale minimum wage according to the employee assignment law. In west Germany this equals 9.55 euros for pay group one (maintenance cleaning) and 12.65 euros for pay group six (glass cleaning) and in east Germany 8.5 euros for pay group one (maintenance cleaning) and 10.63 euros for pay group six (glass cleaning).

Since 2007 there has been a record requirement according to the assignment law with regard to these wages for each hour worked. The minister of labour and social affairs has now introduced a bureaucratic regulation which forces the construction and contract cleaning industries to record every hour worked. This requirement also includes technical or commercial employees who earn less than 2,958 euros.

Now workers in the contract cleaning industry have to record every single hour worked, even those employees who work in middle management and usually earn considerably more than the statutory minimum wage. This serves the purpose of avoiding a pay rate less than 8.5 euros in these industries for technical and commercial employees. That seems strange as technical and commercial employees earn considerably more than the statu-tory minimum wages; therefore, a recording requirement in these cases has no real reference to minimum wage.

For almost every other industry - except for marginally employed workers - records with respect to the hours worked are not required and a minimum wage of 8.5 euros has no consequences, ie, no record requirements for the statutory minimum wage of 8.5 euros, but only with respect to technical and commercial employees in the construction and contract cleaning industries.

It seems like pure bureaucracy for those groups of employees who earn considerably more than 8.5 euros, whereas industries which necessitated the introduction of a minimum wage should not have a record requirement.

It is a little strange when the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs seriously suggests that  statutory minimum wages have been introduced for technical and commercial employees in the contract cleaning industry. For a group which has never been suspected of earning less than 8.5 euros.

In the end, the contract cleaning industry is committed to supporting statutory minimum wages and respective control and prosecution by customs authorities. Of course, even in the contract cleaning industry abuse occurs sometimes; and this cannot be justified in any way as it distorts  competition. Therefore the BIV supports minimum wages for each pay group, even in the present amount, which is partially considerably higher than the minimum wage by law.


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