Monday, January 2, 2017

Germany considers scrapping minimum wage for refugee and migrant workers. Employers welcome the idea-UK Mirror, 1/2/17

1/2/2017, "Germany considers SCRAPPING minimum wage for refugee and migrant workers,", Ross Logan

"GOVERNMENT officials in Germany are considering scrapping the minimum wage for some unqualified refugees and migrants, according to a new report."

"A joint paper by the ministries of employment, education and finance suggests allowing employers to hire migrant staff under a "mandatory internship" scheme as they work towards professional or industry qualifications, exempting companies from paying the minimum wage. 

Migrant workers would instead be given a "training renumeration" during this period, the report proposes.

According to German newspaper  Süddeutschen Zeitung, a refugee with a foreign degree would still have undertake the internship until their qualifications were equal to a German one. 

The idea has been tentatively welcomed by Federal Association of German Employers, which advocates the creation of internship opportunities without the obligation to pay minimum wage.

Such an move would encourage more companies to offer professional qualifications, the association said, which would otherwise be put off paying trainees the obligatory salary.

However, the association said the scheme should not be limited to refugees and migrants, saying the rules should apply to all foreign and German nationals undertaking such training. 

Yesterday, the first day of 2017, the new minimum wage of €8.84 was introduced in Germany, up from €8.50. 

The propsal has been met with scepticism by the German Federation for Trade Unions, which fears refugees with little idea of their legal rights could be exploited for cheap labour.

It also raised concerns that it could be "water on the mills of the right-wing populists, who like to make the claim that foreigners 'take Germans' jobs away because they are cheaper to have' mood against refugees". "


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