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Posting of workers

July 20, 2011

The Posted Workers Act must be observed when posting workers to Germany.

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The Posted Workers Act (Arbeitnehmer-Entsendegesetz) must be observed when posting workers to Germany. The Act follows the "place of work" principle, i.e. employers must grant to their workers the working conditions applicable at the respective place of work for the time they are posted in Germany.

The Act applies to employers of all sectors where the working conditions are regulated in laws. If the labour conditions are regulated by collective agreements (particularly with regard to minimum wages and minimum leave), the Act is presently restricted to employers in the construction industry, letter delivery services, cleaning services, security services, special mining work in anthracite mines, laundry services for third accounts, waste management including street cleaning and winter services and basic and further training services under Books Two or Three of the Social Code (Sozialgesetzbuch).

Employers based in foreign countries are, however, only obliged to adhere to German collective agreement standards if these are also mandatorily prescribed for all corresponding German employers by means of a declaration of general obligation or a legal ordinance. In the long-term care sector (care for the elderly and outpatient nursing), employers may be obliged through legal ordinances to adhere to the labour conditions proposed by a commission.

Moreover, various obligations must be fulfilled that serve to monitor adherence to the mandatory working conditions, such as notification obligations and working time documentation.

Detailed information on the applicable labour conditions and on the procedure can be found on the website of the customs administration, which is the authority commissioned with supervision of the Act.