German conservatives seek minimum wage exceptions for refugees

Reuters News
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Posted: Sep 29, 2015 3:10 AM

BERLIN (Reuters) - Senior conservatives are urging a flexible application of Germany's new minimum wage in relation to refugees, arguing that those with minimal qualifications could struggle to find jobs at the 8.50 euro ($9.60) hourly rate.

Deputy finance minister Jens Spahn, a senior figure in Chancellor Angela Merkel's Christian Democratic Union (CDU), and Reiner Haseloff, conservative premier of the state of Saxony-Anhalt, both called for exceptions to the minimum wage in comments to German daily Die Welt.

For the Social Democrats (SPD), the introduction of a minimum wage was a condition for entering a coalition with Merkel's conservatives and they are likely to resist any changes to the law, which took effect at the start of this year.

"For entry level or training positions the minimum wage should not apply," Haseloff told the newspaper.

Spahn said hundreds of thousands of refugees were likely to land on the jobs market and exceptions were necessary to ensure they found jobs, particularly in the services sector.

"Industry must offer internships, training and entry level positions to the many young people who, as refugees, have the right to stay," Spahn said.

(Reporting by Noah Barkin; editing by David Stamp)