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Germany’s parliament to approve  first minimum wage

Germany’s parliament to approve first minimum wage

Germany’s parliament is set to approve the country’s first minimum wage, in a vote in the Bundestag this Thursday.

The wage will be set at 6 pounds 80 pence per hour, higher than the equivalent in the US and UK.

Angela Merkel’s Christian Democrats approved the new policy as part of a power-sharing deal with the Social Democratic Party SDP.

Germany previously relied on trade unions and business groups to fix minimum pay instead.

Minimum wage has been the subject of controversy in Germany, with business leaders warning that it could result in fewer jobs, or force companies to emloy cheaper labour.

Many lobbyists believe the policy would make Germany less competitive but some others have been angered by concessionary measures, including a two-year grace period for some employers to phase in the policy.

The wage however does not cover minors, interns, trainees or long-term unemployed people for their first six months at work.

For the rest of Germany’s employers, the regulations will come into effect on January 1 2015. The wage will be reviewed annually from January 2018.

BBC/AF

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