The minimum wage is the lower limit of payment to workers -
the lowest amount they are allowed to be paid to ensure they have enough to live on. The minimum wage is laid down either by the state or in a collective wage agreement (for example, for the entire metal industry). In many countries of the European Union
(such as France, Spain and Belgium), there is a legal minimum wage, which however differs from one country to another, as the cost of living is not the same in each land. In Germany, there are no legal minimum wages. However, in 2003, the German Economics Minister
introduced a standard minimum wage for the construction industry to prevent jobs being lost because of so-
called “dumping wages” (very low wages). The “Employee Assignment Act” stipulates that these standard minimum wages also apply to non-
German workers who are temporarily employed at German construction sites.
Gerd Schneider/ Christiane Toyka-Seid