Working time It should be noted that not only the beginning of work and, if necessary, the end of the working relationship, but also the weekly and daily working time are fixed in working contact, in the collective agreement or in a factory/office contract. If in doubt, the usual working hours in the factory/office are considered to be agreed upon. Another difference is that enterprise-level agreements are more common in the East than in the West. In total, 3% of companies in East Germany have enterprise agreements, compared to 2% in West Germany. This downward trend is partly due to the fact that employers leave employers` organizations or remain within them without being bound by the agreements they have signed (so-called OT membership), as well as by the creation of new businesses and the disappearance of existing businesses. (New businesses are less often linked to sectoral agreements than existing ones. The decline in relations appears to have been halted in East Germany, where it has remained broadly stable since 2012, but continued in West Germany, where overall coverage of negotiations in 2018 was 4 percentage points lower than in 2012.  The IAB figures also contain information on the proportion of jobs and the proportion of employees covered by collective agreements. This shows that 25% of jobs are covered by industrial agreements and 2% by enterprise agreements. These figures are lower than those of employees, as collective bargaining is more likely to cover larger jobs than smaller ones.
In West Germany, only 22% of jobs employing up to nine employees are covered by collective agreements, either in industry or at the enterprise level, compared to 80% of jobs employing 500 or more people. The parallel values for East Germany are 13% (up to nine employees) and 76% (500 and over). Both sets of figures show the large differences between sectors in the extent of wage setting. Public administration has the highest proportion of employees (98% based on IAB figures and 99% on the basis of income structure), while information and communication are the lowest (20% on both rates). In manufacturing, which is a key sector of German trade unions, collective bargaining falls between these two extremes: 56% of manufacturing workers are the subject of collective bargaining on the IAB figures and 43% of the income structure. The same legal minimum wage for workers is 9.19 euros per hour. (From 1 January 2020, the minimum wage is 9.35 euros per hour.) Any contract or employment contract for a lower amount is partially cancelled. The minimum wage does not apply to apprentices, young people with initial qualifications or those who have received compulsory practical training in education or higher education. (These exceptions are generally assessed on a case-by-case basis.) Until recently, one of the fundamental principles of negotiation was that an employer can only be covered by an agreement.