Dr. Kai Bodenstedt LL.M.

Is it really better to ask for forgiveness than to ask for permission? – yet another update on German Covid-19 legislation

The SARS-Cov-2-Occupational Health and Safety Ordinance ( cf. our blog entry of 23 March 2021 and 22 April 2021 which was due to expire on 10 September 2021 has been amended and extended until 24 November 2021 (“Amended Ordinance”). In recent weeks, public life has slowly opened up in Germany again with a lot of …

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Not in my House – yet another update on German Covid-19 legislation

Accompanied by demonstrations in Berlin, on 21 April 2021, the German Federal Parliament (Bundestag) has passed further legislation as a measure against rising infection numbers. The draft of the legislative act, commonly referred to as the Fourth Act on the Protection Of The Population (“Viertes Bevölkerungsschutzgesetz”, Act), includes regulations for both the private as well …

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Go west – damages for transferring personal employee data to the US?

As part of a judgement dated 25 February 2021 (docket number: 17 Sa 37/20), the Baden-Wuerttemberg Labour Court of Appeals (the second out of three levels of the German labor court system)  has clarified the requirements for an entitlement to immaterial damages in cases of a violation of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Over …

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Testing, not resting – Obligation to offer tests under the newly amended SARS-CoV-2 Occupational Health and Safety Ordinance

The ongoing quest to combat and prevent the further spread of the SARS-CoV-2 virus is currently impaired by the emergence and propagation of more dangerous virus variants. The Federal Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs (Ministry) has identified frequent testing in occupational environments as a means to prevent the spread of the virus earlier and …

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The Covid-19 Resolution of 22 March 2021 and its implications for employers

The joint video conference of chancellor Angela Merkel and the ministers for the German states resulted in a resolution (“Resolution”) which, at least in part, will need to be implemented by further legislative action at both state and federal level. For employers, the following issues are of relevance: May I open my business and have …

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SARS-CoV-2 Occupational Health and Safety Ordinance

In light of the continuously tense situation in the health care system due to the Covid-19 pandemic and steadily high infection figures, the Federal Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs has issued an ordinance on occupational health and safety (“SARS-CoV-2 Arbeitsschutzverordnung“, SARS-CoV-2 Occupational Health and Safety Ordinance) which will become effective on 27 January 2021. …

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(Not) nice seeing you again? Federal Labour Court decides on fixed-term employment

The problem In the year 2018 8,3 % of all German employees worked on the basis of a fixed term employment contract. Various rules apply to this kind of employment and breaching one of them often leads to the employment contract being indefinite. One of the most important rules is the time limit on fixed-term …

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Member States must require employers to set up a time recording system

On 14 May 2019, the ECJ held (docket no. C-55/18), that Member States must oblige employers by law to set up a system for recording the time worked each day. In proceedings between the Federatión de Servicios de Comisiones Obreras (CCOO) – a Spanish Union – and Deutsche Bank SAE concerning the lack of a …

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Right of part-time employees to return to full-time

The German parliament has recently passed a law which amends the current Part-Time and Fixed-Term Act and will likely enter into force on 1 January 2019. Under the new law (so-called bridge-part-time-work), employees have the right to work part-time for a period of one to five years (“Part-Time-Period”) and return to full-time after the Part-Time-Period …

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Age 60 as a legitimate reason to terminate a service relationship with a managing director

The attainment of age 60 can be agreed as an age limit in a service agreement allowing for the termination of the contract. This was decided by the Hamm Higher Regional Court in a judgment dated 19 June 2017, docket number 8 U 18/17. Such an age limit does not violate the General Equal Treatment …

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Ins and Outs of Bonus and Commission Payments – Part I

Employers may grant their employees bonuses in addition to fixed basic salary for a variety of reasons, for example, to reward performance, loyalty to the company or just as a Christmas gratuity. In this context different questions arise. This two-part post addresses the most common questions regarding bonus and commission payments.    What are the …

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Details of how Mrs Merkel’s new administration wants to be “Shaping Germany’s Future”

Almost three months after the general election, the biggest political parties CDU/CSU and SPD have agreed to form a joint administration under the lead of Chancellor Angela Merkel.  In a 185-page coalition agreement named “Shaping Germany`s Future”  the parties have specified their plans and contemplated actions in respect of the forthcoming legislative period. In this post …

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Christmas (bonus) is for everyone

The Federal Labour Court (Bundesarbeitsgericht, BAG) ruled on November 13, 2013 (docket number – 10 AZR 848/12) that employers cannot validly exclude grants of special payments such as Christmas bonuses in their regulations with respect to employees whose employment ended during the calendar year, if such bonus shall not only reward company loyalty but also …

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