Germany

In Germany, minimum wages are established by means of collective bargaining. Statutory provision does play a role, but only in certain sectors through making regional collective agreements generally binding (eg. hairdressing and security) or in the context of the Law on Posting of Workers as in construction and very recently in cleaning and postal services. With the decline of collective bargaining coverage and limited use of extension mechanisms, there is increasing concern among social partners that many low paid workers have no minimum wage protection; the share of workers not covered in 2004 was close to one in three in western Germany and one in two in eastern Germany. Along with other changes, including requiring long-term unemployed workers to accept any offer of a legal job after 12 months and the growth of very low paid jobs, there is now considerable political debate on a new form of statutory minimum wage.


Professor Gerhard Bosch

gerhard.bosch@uni-due.de
+49 209 1707147
Institute for Work, Skills and Training (IAQ), University of Duisburg-Essen, 45117 Essen, Germany

Gerhard Bosch is Professor of Sociology at the University of Duisburg-Essen and Director of IAQ. His research interests involve pay and employment trends in Germany and comparisons with other OECD countries. Specialist themes include low-wage work, minimum wages, working time and training issues.

Recent research projects and publications:

  • Boeckler Foundation project on 'Wage standards in the German construction industry' (2008-9);
  • ILO/EC project on 'Minimum Wages in an Enlarged Europe' (2007-8);
  • Humboldt Foundation project on 'A Comparative Perspective on Vocational Training in Ten Countries' (2005-8);
  • Russell Sage Foundation project on 'Low Wage Work in Europe' (2005-7);
  • EC project on 'Dynamics of National Employment Models' (2004-7).
  • Bosch, G. and Charest, J. (eds.) (2008) Vocational Training. International perspectives, London: Routledge (forthcoming).
  • Bosch, G., Lehndorff, S. and Rubery, J. (eds.) (2008) Towards a European Social Model? National Employment Models in Flux, Palgrave (forthcoming).
  • Bosch, G. and Weinkopf, C. (eds.) (2008) Low-Wage Work in Germany, NY: Russell Sage Foundation.

Dr Claudia Weinkopf

claudia.weinkopf@uni-due.de
+49 209 1707142
Institute for Work, Skills and Training (IAQ), University Duisburg-Essen, 45117 Essen, Germany

Claudia Weinkopf is Deputy Director and Head of the research division, ‘Flexibility and Security’, at IAQ. Research interests cover pay and employment trends in Germany and comparisons with other OECD countries. Specialist themes include low wage work, minimum wages, gender and precarious employment.

Recent research projects and publications:

  • Boeckler Foundation project on 'Wage standards in the German construction industry' (2008-9);
  • German labour ministry project on 'Gender impacts of the implementation of "Hartz V"' (2006-9);
  • European Parliament study on 'Women in Low Skill Work' (2006-7);
  • Russell Sage Foundation project on 'Low Wage Work in Europe' (2005-7).
  • Bosch, G. and Weinkopf, C. (eds.) (2008) Low-Wage Work in Germany. Russell Sage: New York.
  • Weinkopf, C., Hieming, B., Jaehrling, K., Kalina, T., Grimshaw, D., Rubery, J., Shimron, N. and Stupnytskyy, O. (2007) Women in Low-Skill Work. Final report to the European Parliament: DG Policies of the Union, Directorate C (June).
  • Weinkopf, C. (2006) 'A changing role of temporary agency work in the German employment model?', International Employment Relations Review, 12 (1): 77-94.

Institute for Work, Skills and Training (IAQ) University of Duisberg-Essen