SPD General Secretary Kevin Kühnert speaks at the plenary session in the German Bundestag on May 12, 2023.
An exception allows underage holiday workers to earn less than minimum wage. The SPD general secretary considers this an “unjustifiable distortion” and calls on the government to end the practice.
SPD General Secretary Kevin Kühnert has appealed to the government to immediately abolish the exception to the statutory minimum wage for underage holiday workers. “The exception to the minimum wage for under 18s is an unjustifiable distortion,” said Kühnert of the “Stuttgarter Zeitung” and the “Stuttgarter Nachrichten” (Tuesday editions). With an abolition as soon as possible, “more justice for many holiday jobbers” could be created.
The SPD politician described it as “outrageous” that advertisements on the Internet are sometimes specifically looking for minors “because you can make them work for nine or ten euros an hour”. “The 16-year-old who brings beer mugs to the tables in the beer garden does exactly the same valuable work as the 20-year-old who does it,” said Kühnert. The minimum wage is a question of respect for the work done, regardless of age.
He himself also worked during the holidays as a student, said Kühnert. During his holiday work in hardware stores, he was responsible for the inventory, among other things, and “counted an infinite number of screws”. He was 17 at the time and wanted to earn a little extra money “for soccer tours with friends”.