Category Archive: Uncategorized

Reform of the German Occupational Pension Act (“Betriebsrentengesetz”)

Effective January 1, 2018, the German Occupational Pension Act will be reformed by the Act to Strengthen Occupational Pensions (“Betriebsrentenstärkungsgesetz“), adopted by the German Parliament on 1 June 2017. In 2002, the German legislator issued a difficult challenge to the area of occupational pension provision with the introduction of the so-called “Riester Reform”. Together with …

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Suspicion of pretended sickness and activities for a competing company generally justified surveillance by a detective and immediate termination for cause

A new judgment of the Federal Labour Court (dated 29.6.2017, docket number 2 AZR 597/16) supports previous judgments concerning termination based on suspicion of breach of duties and furthermore sheds  light on the permissibility of carrying out surveillance on employees through a detective to clarify such suspicions. In the case at hand the employee and …

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Occupational Pensions: Free bus ticket for wife to be considered as pension

By judgment of 23.06.2017 (6 Sa 173/17) the Regional Labour Court of Düsseldorf has ruled that with regard to the period from which the employee receives a pension, a free bus ticket provided by the employer to the employee’s wife is to be considered to be an occupational pension and therefore cannot be revoked. The …

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New Act on Remuneration Transparency

Following up our blog post from December 19, 2016 where we reported about a legislative proposal to promote equal pay between women and men, the Remuneration Transparency Act has now entered into force. Arguing that women still earn 7 % less than men even if statistics account for women frequently working part-time, less often climbing …

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Employer may not issue polemic reference letter as coercive measures may follow

While an employee’s enforceable claim to have a reference letter issued generally only covers the formal and substantial minimum requirements of such a letter, this does not apply if the employee is issued a reference letter which is stated in such a polemical and ironic way that its submission by the employee to a potential …

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Dismissal Protection Act not applicable to managing directors despite employee status

While recent EU law developments on the potential employee status of managing directors (cf. ECJ, June 9, 2015, docket no. C-229/14 – Balkaya) and decisions of the German Federal Labour Court regarding the procedural issue of giving managing directors access to the Labour Courts under certain circumstances have somewhat blurred the dividing lines between managing …

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Federal Labor Court rulings to watch in 2017 (edition Jan – March)

Already in the first quarter of the New Year Germany’s Federal Labor Court will deliver a number of judgments important for advisors and practitioners alike: Time Credits for works council members? (- docket no 7 AZR 224/15 – expected for 18 January 2017- ) Although members of a works council act in an honorary role …

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Background checks aka pre-employment screenings in Germany

Many companies refuse to settle for the information provided by the applicant on job applications and in personal interviews. So-called background checks (also known as “pre-employment screenings”) therefore enjoy great popularity among employers in the US and the UK as a measure to investigate the potential employee’s background. This screening may be conducted by the …

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Employer versus heirs: liability for holiday entitlements

The Higher Labour Court Cologne (Landesarbeitsgericht, LAG) ruled on 14 September 2016 (docket number 8 Sa 324/16) that holiday entitlements do not extinguish if the employment relationship ends by reason of the worker’s death. The heirs can claim all outstanding leave benefits not depending on whether the claim for allowance in lieu existed at the …

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Statutory minimum wage for on call times

The Federal Labour Court (Bundesarbeitsgericht) decided on 29 June 2016 (5 AZR 716/15) that the statutory minimum wage must be paid for each hour of actual work. On call times during which the employee has to be available to start work if required at a place that is determined by the employer also count as …

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