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New national minimum wages for care workers have come into force in Germany in August 2010, the European Industrial Relations Observatory (Eiro) reports. The employees covered will be entitled to an hourly minimum wage of 8.50 Euro in Western Germany, including Berlin, and 7.50 Euro in Eastern Germany. The minimum wages, declared binding under the Posted Workers Act, will affect between 520,000 and 560,000 caregivers out of a total of 810,000 care workers and will apply to all employees regardless of the country of origin of their employer.
These rates will increase with effect from 1 January 2012 to 8.75 Euro in Western Germany and 7.75 Euro in Eastern Germany. With effect from 1 January 2013, rates will rise to 9.00 Euro and 8.00 Euro respectively. These national minimum wages were declared binding under the Posted Workers Act (Arbeitnehmer-Entsendegesetz, AEntG) by decree of the Federal Ministry of Labour (BMAS).
The minimum wages apply to care facilities and care providers that provide services under the provisions of Social Security Code XI (Sozialgesetzbuch XI, SGB XI). This act regulates the compulsory long-term care insurance scheme (Pflegeversicherung) which is one pillar of the German social security system. SGB XI defines as 'basic care' those services directed at supporting patients by helping them with personal care, feeding and mobility. Not covered by the minimum wages are hospitals and care providers offering predominantly health care nursing services, or caregivers directly employed by private households.