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Germany’s Bayern Munich football club fined for not paying workers minimum wage

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June 15, 2023
By The Associated Press

By Ciaran Fahey

Bayern Munich has been reprimanded and fined by the Munich customs office for not paying its workers the minimum wage.

Munich’s main customs office said on Thursday a “well-known Munich soccer club” underpaid its workers for five years from November 2016 to 2021. Office spokesman Thomas Meister confirmed to The Associated Press that Bayern — Germany’s most successful and richest club — was the one under investigation.

The office is ordering Bayern to pay some 250,000 euros ($270,000) altogether including late payment penalties and social security payments that it evaded over the five years.

“The investigation found that the soccer club had not paid the minimum wage in the youth academy it operated. In addition, the club did not meet its obligation to record the working hours, or it did so incorrectly and incompletely,” the customs office said.


It said it consulted or evaluated “a large number of witnesses and material evidence” as part of its investigation, and it found employees at Bayern’s youth player campus were paid 450 euros ($490) a month “although their actual scope of employment was much higher.”

At the time in Germany, a 450-euro-job, also known as “mini-job,” limited a worker’s workload to marginal part-time employment and it did not provide any social security for the employee. That rate has since increased to 520 euros.

“Contrary to the contractual regulations and hours recorded — many more hours were worked than agreed, leading to the valid minimum wage not being paid and social security regulations being disregarded,” the customs office said.

Bayern said it never intended to underpay its workers and it will pay the shortfall to the federal treasury.

The Bavarian powerhouse said it had taken “structural precautions” to avoid paying less than the minimum wage in future. The current minimum wage in Germany is 12 euros ($13) an hour.

Last year, Bayern announced pre-tax profits of 17.1 million euros ($18.6 million) for the 2021-22 season. Wages were the biggest expense at 324.1 million ($352 million) for all staff, including players and employees.

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