Category Archive: Social Security

Unemployment benefits despite existing employment relationship

Even without being formally unemployed, an employee might be entitled to unemployment benefits (Arbeitslosengeld I) in the event of factual unemployment, the Social Court Dortmund (Sozialgericht, SG) decided in a recent ruling on 10 October 2016 (docket number: S 31 AL 84/16). The plaintiff, a judicial clerk who was employed at a local court (Amtsgericht, …

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Accident insurance cover applied during departmental Christmas celebration without management

The Federal Social Court (Bundessozialgericht) decided on 05 July 2016 (Az.: B 2 U 19/14 R) that participation in a works communal event is also covered by accident insurance cover if it is carried out by the management of the subject area. Contrary to former case law, personal participation of management is no longer necessary …

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No accident insurance cover between home office and kitchen

The Federal Social Court (Bundessozialgericht) decided on 5 July 2016 (Az.: B 2 U 2/15 R) that an accident on the way from the home office to the kitchen in an employee’s apartment to have a glass of water does not qualify as a workplace accident and is thus not covered by the statutory accident …

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A trip to the drycleaners is no workplace activity

A trip to the drycleaners during an employee’s lunch break is not covered by the German statutory accident insurance relating to accidents at the workplace (judgment by the Higher Regional Social Court of Hessen dated March 24, 2015, docket number L 3 U 225/10). Under German law, employees are protected by statutory accident insurance during …

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Extension of employment contracts after the statutory pension age

Effective 1 July 2014 a new law (sec. 41 sentence 3 of Book 6 of the German Social Code, SGB VI) allows for fixed-term extensions of employment contracts after the employee has reached the statutory pension age. The new provision is part of a series of statutory changes regarding retirement and pensions. If an employment …

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Work hard, play harder?

The decision whether an accident is of an occupational nature or not often becomes important for employees desiring coverage under statutory accident insurance. Generally, occupational injuries pursuant to sec. 8 subsec. 1 Social Insurance Code VII (Sozialgesetzbuch VII, SGB VII) require a substantial causal relationship between the accident and the insured activity. This relationship is …

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New Directive on Supplementary Pension Rights in Force 20 May 2014: Do German Employers Need to Take Action?

On 15 April 2014, the European Parliament issued a Directive improving the protection of supplementary pension rights (i.e. rights under occupational pension schemes – so-called ‘second-pillar’ pension schemes linked to an employment relationship) for mobile workers. The new rules help to remove current obstacles to free movement, such as the requirement for very long periods …

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In-house Counsel – Barred From Private Pension Systems?

German employees are usually subject to the state pension insurance (“gesetzliche Rentenversicherung – GRV“). In contrast, professionals such as lawyers, physicians, tax consultants, vets or pharmacists may join special pension funds for their professional peer group (known as “Versorgungswerke“). As these special private pension funds are, generally, better funded than the state pension insurance, professionals …

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Work certificates: Small change, big benefits

Until recently, on termination of employment, an employer was obliged to provide the departing employee with a work certificate (Arbeitsbescheinigung) to be presented to the employment agency. As work certificates are lengthy and can take some time to complete, this can create a major administrative burden for employers – which is often unnecessary as many …

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Lunchtime break – beware!

The Higher Social Court (Landessozialgericht, LSG) Baden- Württemberg (December 13, 2013 – L 8 U 1506/13) has ruled that an accident that occurred during a lunch break from work, but outside of the workplace, was not a work-related accident.  The plaintiff in this case was having lunch in a canteen at a neighboring bank as …

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