Category Archive: Collective Bargaining Agreement

Act on Uniformity of Collective Agreements (Tarifeinheitsgesetz) in most parts compatible with the German Constitution (Grundgesetz, GG)

The constitutionality of the Act on Uniformity of Collective Agreements has been a widely debated issue since it came into force in July 2015. Just recently – on 11 July 2017 – the German Federal Constitutional Court (Bundesverfassungsgericht, BVerfG) confirmed that the provisions of this Act are compatible with the German Constitution for the most …

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Reverse discrimination – permissible privileged treatment of working experience with the same employer

Being one of the four fundamental freedoms of the European Union’s internal market, the free movement of persons as defined by Art. 45 TFEU (AEUV) grants all citizens of the member states the right to work cross-border as well as protecting them from any discrimination compared to domestic workers. If a national provision is incompatible …

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Extension of fixed-term employment contracts

The Federal Labour Court (Bundesarbeitsgericht, BAG) ruled on 26 October 2016 (docket number: 7 AZR 140/15) that a collective bargaining agreement (Tarifvertrag) which allows the extension of fixed-term employment without cause (sachgrundlose Befristung) for a maximum period of five years is effective.   In this case the plaintiff was employed by the defendant, a company …

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Strikes Against Industrial Peace Provisions Unlawful, Says Federal Court

As airport and airline strikes have become an almost annual event, in a landmark decision the Federal Labour Court (Bundesarbeitsgericht, BAG) has ruled on the obligation to pay damages in the event of an unlawful strike (judgment dated 26 July 2016, docket number 1 AZR 160/14).. The relevant strike occurred in 2012 when the Air …

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Employees aged 50 years or older may not generally be granted extra holiday for recuperation

A clause in a collective bargaining agreement according to which employees aged 50 years or older are granted extra holiday per year is invalid. This was decided by the Federal Labour Court (Bundesarbeitsgericht, BAG) on 12 April 2016 (docket number 9 AZR 659/14). In the case at hand, the applicable collective bargaining agreements awarded three …

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Adequate compensation for permanent night workers

A night worker is someone who works for at least two hours during the night between 11 pm and 6 am. The employer must provide the night worker with a reasonable amount of paid time off for the hours worked on a night shift or a reasonable bonus in addition to his/her wages, provided an …

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Pilot strike held unlawful

On 9 September 2015 the Higher Labor Court Hesse (Landesarbeitsgericht Hessen) held the current Lufthansa pilot strike unlawful and issued a preliminary injunction against the pilots union “Cockpit” (ref. no. 9 SaGa 1082/15). The current strike was number 13 in a series in the tariff (collective agreement) dispute which has already lasted for over a …

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Tariff jungle

If two tariff (collective) agreements on wages with different unions are applicable to one business operation, the employer must, generally, classify the employees under both tariff agreements to the applicable salary group, regardless of whether the employees have an individual entitlement under each agreement. Generally, such classification is subject to the co-determination right of the …

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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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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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