The Federal Labour Court (Bundesarbeitsgericht) decided on 29 June 2016 (5 AZR 716/15) that the statutory minimum wage must be paid for each hour of actual work. On call times during which the employee has to be available to start work if required at a place that is determined by the employer also count as work that is subject to remuneration. The court, however, rejected the claim for further payment in the case at issue because it already considered the claim as fulfilled.
The plaintiff works as a Paramedic in shifts of twelve hours with a weekly average of 48 hours, four days per week. On call times are worked regularly. The monthly gross salary of the plaintiff amounts to EUR 2,680.31 including allowances. The plaintiff asserted that the defendant does not pay the legal minimum wage for on call time. According to the plaintiff, the collectively agreed contractual remuneration became ineffective with the Minimum Wage Act (Mindestlohngesetz). He received payment of EUR 15.81 gross per working hour. The Labour Court (Arbeitsgericht) dismissed the action and the Regional Labour Court (Landesarbeitsgericht) rejected the plaintiff’s appeal.
The fifth Senate of the Federal Labour Court rejected the plaintiff’s appeal. He is not entitled to receive further compensation for the on call times that he worked in January and February 2015. Although the on call times are to be compensated with the legal minimum wage, this claim has been fulfilled. With a maximum 228 working hours which the plaintiff could actually work with full time and on call times in one month, the monthly compensation not only fulfils the legal minimum wage (228 hours to 8.50 EUR = EUR 1,938 gross monthly), but exceeds it. There is no claim for additional compensation according to Sec. 612 para 2 Civil Code (BGB). According to the Federal Labour Court, the contractual remuneration that has been agreed collectively did not become ineffective with the Minimum Wage Act.