Planned Novelties in Employment and Social Law through German “Social Pact II”

The CDU/CSU and SPD parliamentary groups have introduced a new package of laws into the German Bundestag containing important labour and social regulations, which will be passed in the near future. This package again contains numerous changes in labour and social law. Further measures are to be taken to cushion the economic and social hardships …

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New legislation during the pandemic: Online court hearings at labour and social courts

At the moment, hearings at the labour and social courts are largely suspended. This is problematic in so far as it mostly concerns existential questions such as the existence of an employment relationship or a claim for wage payment as well as collective issues. These questions require a quick decision. Particularly in proceedings for protection …

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Which measures for occupational health and safety are required in the current situation?

Whereas it has previously been necessary to fall back on general principles when planning occupational health and safety measures, Federal Minister of Labour, Mr Heil has now specified these in more detail on 16 April 2020 and has thus established guidelines for (physical) cooperation. The requirements set out here must already be complied with by …

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Covid-19: Temporary changes to maximum working hours for certain industries

Following an amendment of the Working Time Act as of March 28, 2020, the Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs issued a Working Hours Ordinance, which from April 10, 2020 onwards allows exceptions to the provisions of the Working Hours Act only for certain activities and only for a limited period until  June 30, …

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Works council meetings by video or phone conference?

On April 08, 2020, the Federal Government adopted changes regarding co-determination at company level. According to the government draft, the possibilities for the works councils to pass resolutions will be extended and the ability of the staff representatives to act will be ensured. The  planned revision of the Works Council Constitution Act (BetrVG) allows staff …

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Occupational Pensions: Partial retirement is to be treated as part-time work

By judgment of 21 January 2020 (docket number: 3 AZR 281/18) the Federal Labour Court (Bundesarbeitsgericht – BAG) has ruled that for the calculation of pension benefits partial retirement (Altersteilzeit) is to be treated as part-time work (Teilzeitarbeit). The employer and the former employee were in dispute over the question of whether periods of partial …

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Occupational Pensions: Employer’s obligation to carry out pension adjustments according to occupational pension law does not apply to non-occupational pension benefits

By judgment of 19 November 2019 (docket number: 3 AZR 281/18) the Federal Labour Court (Bundesarbeitsgericht – BAG) has ruled that, in the event that an employer has granted a total pension (Gesamtversorgung) which consists of both occupational pensions and other types of pension benefits, the employer’s obligation to carry out pension adjustments according to …

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Occupational Pensions: European Court of Justice confirms protection of employees in the event of employer insolvency

By judgment of 19 December 2019 (docket number: C-168/18) the European Court of Justice has ruled that employee’s pension entitlements which are based on so-called captive pension insurance schemes (Pensionskassenzusagen) are (to a certain extent) protected from benefit reductions in the event of employer insolvency. The plaintiff participated in a captive pension insurance scheme (Pensionskasse). …

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Occupational Pensions: Information provided by the employer to the employees must be correct, clear and complete

By judgment of 18 February 2020 (docket number: 3 AZR 206/18) the Federal Labour Court has ruled that if an employer provides information on occupational pensions such information must be correct, clear and complete. However, there is no general obligation to provide information on the social security treatment of pension benefits. The plaintiff participated in …

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Update on local legislation implementing the Directive on the Posting of Workers

On 12 February 2020 the German Federal Cabinet adopted a draft law to implement the revised European Directive on the Posting of Workers in the framework of the provision of services. The revision of the Directive entered into force on 29 July 2018 after lengthy negotiations in Brussels (Directive 2018/957/EU amending Directive 96/71/EC). The revision …

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Crowdworkers are not employees under German Labour Law

Crowdworkers are not considered employees under German labour law under a ruling by the Higher Regional Labour Court of Munich on 4 December 2019 (docket number: 8 Sa 146/19). What are Crowdworkers? Crowdworkers are persons to whom so-called microjobs are offered via an Internet platform which they then carry out independently, if they accept the …

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Occupational pensions: Deviation from employer’s (contractual) obligation to adjust pension benefits requires detailed statement of reasons

By judgment of 21.06.2019 (docket number: 7 Sa 92/18) the State Labour Court Hamburg has ruled that a deviation from the employer’s obligation to adjust pension benefits in accordance with an increase in state pension benefits – as provided for in the employer’s pension plan in the event that the employer considers an adjustment “not …

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Entitlements on company pension are subject to particular protection in the event of a transfer of business according to Section 613 a German Civil Code

By judgment of 22 October 2019 (docket number: 3 AZR 429/18) the Federal Labour Court has extended its settled case law regarding the replacement of pension plans in the event of mergers and acquisitions. A replacement of a pension plan by a pension plan existing at the acquirer a must be in accordance with the …

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Employee Leasing: Deviation from Equal Pay

According to a judgement of the Federal Labour Court employers (agency) who lease employees (agency workers) to a third party (client) can deviate from the principle of equal treatment (“Equal Pay”) by virtue of a reference clause in the contract of employment only if, for the period of the lease, the relevant collective bargaining agreement …

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Time Recording Systems Jumpstarted by the Works Council?

In an earlier ruling this year, the European Court of Justice held that European member states must require employers to introduce systems for recording the working time of their employees. However, since there is no German law stipulating time recording( with the exception of overtime recording duties) yet, typically it is up to the employer …

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