Working in Germany: Information for posted workers

Many construction companies headquartered abroad post commercial workers to construction sites in Germany. During the posting period they have to comply with the minimum working conditions applicable. What they exactly entail and what trades they apply to is stipulated in the collective labour agreements for the German construction industry. These agreements apply no matter what country workers are posted from to Germany. 

Minimum wages are part of the minimum working conditions. Posted workers are entitled to the minimum wage payable in the German construction industry.

Moreover, posted workers are entitled to the same number of leave days as German construction workers, namely to a total of 30 leave days per year. If the posting period is less than a year, leave days will be calculated on a pro rata basis.

Leave is paid leisure time. Leave days will therefore be remunerated. In this respect posted workers are also on equal terms with their German colleagues. The amount of leave allowance payable is 14.25% of the respective gross wage.

A special leave scheme applies to the German construction industry which all employers in the construction industry have to participate in. This leave scheme is applied by SOKA-BAU. SOKA-BAU collects leave fund contributions which will be reimbursed to the employer concerned once he has granted leave to his workers and has paid them their leave allowance. This leave scheme ensures that workers’ leave entitlements will not be forfeited, even if different employers are involved.

Workers will continue to be paid all entitlements by their respective employer during the posting period. In the event that a worker has not taken all the leave due to him by the time the posting has ended, he can apply with SOKA-BAU for pay in lieu of leave and/or compensation. In this case SOKA-BAU will pay the remaining leave allowance directly to the worker.

This rule only applies to commercial workers and does not apply to employees.

You can find more detailed information on this website.

SOKA-BAU provides advice and information to workers and their employers by phone or in writing on all matters pertaining to the leave scheme in 14 languages.