Monthly Archive: July 2015

Better learn English….

The Higher Labour Court Hamburg (Landesarbeitsgericht, LAG) ruled on May 19, 2015 that a request for very good English skills in a job advertisement is not discriminatory if English is the prevailing communication language in the relevant working field (docket number 5 Sa 79/14). According to the Equal Treatment Act (Gleichbehandlungsgesetz, AGG) as a general …

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Pension Indexations and Intra-Group Transfer Price Agreements

An employer who is in a favorable economic position must adjust ongoing pensions despite the fact that he is tied to a transfer price agreement within the group which is partially the source of his profits. This was decided by the Federal Labour Court (Bundesarbeitsgericht, BAG) on 10 February 2015 (ref.no. 3 AZR 37/14). The …

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Fixed-term employments – a little bit of knowledge is a dangerous thing

The Federal Labour Court (Bundesarbeitsgericht, BAG) ruled on April 29, 2015 that the conclusion of several consecutive fixed-term employment agreements can be permissible and does not necessarily lead to employment for an indefinite period (docket number 7 AZR 310/13). Under German law, fixed-term employment agreements are only possible to a limited extent. If the mandatory …

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Replacement of Individual Pension Grant by Works Agreement Containing New Pension Plan

The  Federal Labour Court (Bundesarbeitsgericht, BAG) ruled on 10 March 2015 (ref. no. 3 AZR 56/14) that even individual pension promises are subject to modification by a works agreement as long as they contain some element of collective nature. The parties disputed if the replacement of a pension plan initially stemming from the year 1976 …

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Dynamic reference provisions – does European law strike again?

Depending on the industrial sector, German employment contracts sometimes refer to collective bargaining agreements (Tarifverträge). In this case the provisions of the collective bargaining agreements apply to the employees even if the employer and/or the employee are not members of the respective body. Therefore, the employees can claim eg additional benefits such as a longer …

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Preconditions for Ammendments of Occupational Pension Plans

Whenever  pension plans need to be amended several general principles for the protection of employees must be adhered to. These include amongst others the respect to the level of justified trust and expectation of employees in the grant they have received earlier as well as the principles of proportionality of the intervention must be adhered …

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Law on tariff uniformity

German President Joachim Gauck has signed the law on tariff uniformity (“Tarifeinheitsgesetz”). This was announced by a spokeswoman for the presidential office on 6 July 2015. With the execution by the President and the announcement in the Federal Gazette, the law will come into force.   Smaller unions have become more and more influential ever …

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Don’t harass – it’s a mess

The Higher Labour Court Hessen (Landesarbeitsgericht Hessen, LAG) ruled on February 21, 2015 that sexual harassment of a close minor relative of a co-worker can justify a summary dismissal (docket number 14 Sa 609/1). In the context of his employment with the defendant the plaintiff was responsible for a culture hall where among others events for …

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Obligation in a termination agreement not to bring legal proceedings may be effective

The Federal Labor Court ruled on 12 March 2015 (docket no.: 6 AZR 82/14 – Bundesarbeitsgericht, BAG) that a contractual obligation not to bring legal proceedings before a court is effective, if the arrangement is not contrary to a statutory prohibition or public policy. In the case at hand, the parties signed a termination agreement, …

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Change of Legal Practice on Pension Indexation: Relevance of the Economic Status of the Parent Company

In Germany the ground rule for pension indexation is that every three years an employer must provide for an increase of ongoing pensions parallel  to the increase of the cost of living, unless his own economic situation calls for an omission of the pension increase. In principle, this ground rule also applies to companies that …

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