Germany: Kein Verfall von Ansprüchen auf Mindestlohn bei tarifvertraglicher Ausschlussfrist

Last Updated: 6 August 2018
Article by Martin Römermann
Most Read Contributor in Germany, September 2018

Die Geltendmachung des Anspruchs auf Entgeltfortzahlung im Krankheitsfall gemäß § 3 Abs. 1 EFZG kann trotz seiner Unabdingbarkeit einer tariflichen Ausschlussfrist unterworfen werden. Eine tarifliche Ausschlussfrist ist jedoch nach § 3 S. 1 MiLoG unwirksam, soweit sie auch den während der Arbeitsunfähigkeit fortzuzahlenden gesetzlichen Mindestlohn erfasst.

BAG, Urteil v. 20.06.2018 – 5 AZR 377/17

Der Kläger war bei dem beklagten Bauunternehmen mit einem Stundenlohn in Höhe von EUR 13,00 brutto beschäftigt. Nach Erhalt einer Kündigung zum 31.10.2015 meldete sich der Kläger ab Mitte September krank. Die Beklagte verweigerte die Entgeltfortzahlung für den Monat Oktober.

Mit einem der Beklagten am 18.01.2016 zugestellten Schriftsatz machte der Kläger die Entgeltfortzahlung für den Monat Oktober 2015 geltend. Der für allgemeinverbindlich erklärte Bundesrahmentarifvertrag für das Baugewerbe (BRTV-Bau) enthält in § 14 Abs. 1 eine Ausschlussfrist, nach der Ansprüche aus dem Arbeitsverhältnis verfallen, wenn sie nicht innerhalb von zwei Monaten nach der Fälligkeit gegenüber der anderen Partei schriftlich erhoben werden. Der Kläger vertrat die Auffassung, die Regelung sei insgesamt unwirksam, da sie den Anspruch auf den gesetzlichen Mindestlohn nicht ausnehme.

Das Arbeitsgericht hat die Klage bezüglich des den gesetzlichen Mindestlohn von damals EUR 8,50 brutto übersteigenden Entgelts abgewiesen, da der Anspruch nach § 14 Abs. 1 BRTV-Bau verfallen sei. Im Übrigen gab es der Klage statt. Die Berufung der Beklagten blieb erfolglos.

Die Revision der Beklagten hatte ebenfalls keinen Erfolg. Der Kläger hatte für die Zeit seiner krankheitsbedingten Arbeitsunfähigkeit einen Anspruch auf Entgeltfortzahlung gemäß § 3 Abs. 1 i.V.m. § 4 Abs. 1 EFZG. Dem Arbeitnehmer ist das Entgelt zu zahlen, das er ohne den Arbeitsausfall bei Erbringung seiner Arbeitsleistung erhalten hätte. Damit habe der Arbeitnehmer auch während der Arbeitsunfähigkeit Anspruch auf Entgeltfortzahlung in Höhe des gesetzlichen Mindestlohns. Der Anspruch folge allerdings nicht unmittelbar aus § 1 MiloG, weil nach dieser Bestimmung der Mindestlohn nur für tatsächlich geleistete Arbeit zu entrichten sei. Da der Arbeitnehmer jedoch so zu stellen sei, als hätte er gearbeitet, bleibe ihm auch der Mindestlohn als untere Grenze des fortzuzahlenden Entgelts erhalten. Zugleich gebiete es der Schutzzweck des § 3 S. 1 MiLoG, nach Maßgabe dieser Norm den Entgeltfortzahlungsanspruch in Höhe des gesetzlichen Mindestlohns entsprechend zu sichern. Das habe zur Folge, dass Vereinbarungen, welche die Geltendmachung des fortzuzahlenden Mindestlohns i.S.d. § 3 S. 1 MiLoG beschränken, insoweit unwirksam sind. Zu solchen Vereinbarungen gehören nicht nur arbeitsvertragliche, sondern auch tarifliche Ausschlussfristen. Anders als bei Ausschlussfristen, die arbeitsvertraglich in Allgemeinen Geschäftsbedingungen vereinbart sind, unterliegen Tarifregelungen gemäß § 310 Abs. 4 S. 1 BGB indes keiner Transparenzkontrolle.


Das BAG klärt damit die Frage, ob tarifvertragliche Ausschlussfristen, die Ansprüche auf den gesetzlichen Mindestlohn nicht ausdrücklich ausnehmen, unwirksam sind, und verneint dies. § 3 S. 1 MiLoG erklärt solche Regelungen nur für insoweit" und damit nicht für insgesamt" unwirksam. Der Hinweis des BAG, dass bei arbeitsvertraglichen Ausschlussfristen, die Allgemeine Geschäftsbedingungen darstellen noch eine Transparenzkontrolle stattfindet, macht hingegen deutlich, dass arbeitsvertragliche Ausschlussfristen Mindestlohnansprüche ausdrücklich von der Anwendung der Ausschlussfrist ausnehmen sollten, da sie ansonsten wegen Intransparenz nach § 307 BGB unwirksam sein könnten.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

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