Minimum wage for home care

Tuesday, 20.09.2022

The minimum wage also applies to foreign employers when they send workers to Germany for home care. Therefore, the minimum wage for work in Germany cannot be circumvented by agreeing in the employment contract to apply foreign law. Contracts are often used in home care, where particularly many skilled workers from Eastern Europe work below the minimum wage. Last year’s decision of the Federal Labour Court on this issue caused quite a stir. We reported on it here. The Berlin-Brandenburg Regional Labour Court has now implemented this decision in a new ruling on the same matter.

Important BAG decision on the minimum wage

The Federal Labour Court (Bundesarbeitsgericht, BAG) had made a landmark decision that on-call times of foreign care workers in home care must also be remunerated with the minimum wage. However, the Berlin-Brandenburg Regional Labour Court still had to determine whether the Bulgarian plaintiff had really worked on-call to the extent claimed. The plaintiff had claimed that she had been on duty from 6:00 a.m. until about 10:00 p.m./11:00 p.m. and had also been on call at night.

Minimum wage also for on-call duty

In the meantime, the Regional Labour Court (Landesarbeitsgericht) has taken extensive evidence and, in its new decision, awarded the plaintiff the required minimum wage for on-call time as well. Only for a small proportion of the claimed times did the court consider the on-call time to be unproven. This concerned, for example, times that the elderly lady in care had spent with family members in her flat or in a restaurant.

The appeal to the Federal Labour Court was not allowed this time.

Press release of the Berlin-Brandenburg Regional Labour Court of 6.9.2022