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July 14--Legislation to implement a nationwide minimum wage of 8.50 euros ($11.70) effective Jan. 1, 2015, has been approved by both houses of the German parliament and awaits the signature of Federal President Joachim Gauck to become law.
This will be the first national minimum wage Germany has implemented, and to reduce the financial shock for employers currently paying low wages, its effective date will be postponed for certain sectors of the workforce, including seasonal workers, until 2017. Permanent exceptions to the minimum wage include:
• employees under 18 years old,
• interns and
• the long-term unemployed for the first six months in a new job.
Beginning in 2016, a commission will evaluate the minimum wage every two years and recommend necessary adjustments to the cabinet. Employer and employee associations will each have three voting representatives on the commission.
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The bill is available in German at http://dip21.bundestag.de/dip21/btd/18/015/1801558.pdf, amendments and additions at http://www.bundesrat.de/SharedDocs/drucksachen/2014/0201-0300/288-14.pdf?__blob=publicationFile&v=1.
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