According to a press release issued by the European Commission, infringement proceedings against Germany were initiated on 19 May 2015. The Commission considers that the application of the minimum wage law to all transport services affecting German territory constitutes a disproportionate restriction of the freedom to provide services and the free movement of goods. In particular with regard to transit traffic and certain international transport services, it was not justified to apply the administrative hurdles created by the minimum wage law.
As a first step, the Commission has sent a letter to the Federal Republic of Germany. The Federal Government now has two months to comment. If the deadline is not met or if the Brussels authority is not approved, it may bring an action before the Court of Justice of the European Union (ECJ).
The basic validity of the German minimum wage law is not affected by the outcome of these proceedings. Rather, it clarifies how the minimum wage law can be interpreted and applied in accordance with European law, particularly in the transport sector. It remains to be seen whether the German legislator will adapt the minimum wage law following the infringement proceedings. In any case, the minimum wage law cannot be reformed by European Union institutions.We will keep you informed of the outcome of these proceedings and the validity of the minimum wage law. Contact us here!