Last year, 4,220 preliminary investigations into minimum wage violations were initiated against companies.

With 1000 violations, the majority were in the construction industry, according to a preliminary report by the Funke media group, which refers to figures from the Federal Ministry of Finance.

715 procedures were attributable to the catering and hotel industry and 272 to building cleaning.

In most cases, either the statutory or the industry-standard minimum wage was not paid.

"Violations of minimum wages by dubious and criminal companies still affect tens of thousands of employees," said the federal chairman of the industrial union Bauen-Agrar-Umwelt (IG Bau), Robert Feiger.

In view of these figures, the IG Bau boss recommended more controls and higher fines against minimum wage fraud.

Customs controls logisticians

In order to prevent abuse, Feiger also called for a public minimum wage register in which violations by companies are entered.

On this basis, all "black sheep" should be excluded from public procurement, said Feiger.

Meanwhile, the customs checked on Friday in a nationwide focus action employees and companies in the forwarding, transport and logistics sector. The main focus of the financial control of undeclared work was compliance with the general minimum wage of EUR 9.60 per hour, compliance with social security obligations, the illegal receipt of social benefits and the illegal employment of foreigners, said a spokeswoman for the General Customs Directorate. Distribution centers of the online retailer Amazon were also affected by the reviews, as a company spokesman confirmed.

According to the customs authorities, “bogus self-employed people” were often found during controls in the industry in the past.

For example, drivers indicate that they are self-employed.

In fact, however, there is dependent employment.

Through this constellation, clients often not only save the social security contributions to be paid, but also avoid the minimum wage.

There were approximately 2,000 officers involved in similar previous priority controls.

However, the spokeswoman for the authorities could not initially say how large the staffing was this time.

Due to the current flood situation in western Germany, some of the planned tests could not be carried out to the intended extent.