Occupational Pensions: Launch of first so-called social partner model

Recently, the first so-called social partner model (“Sozialpartnermodell”) was presented in Germany. The model was initiated by a cooperation of two large insurance companies and was realised with the involvement of a large German trade union. Social partner models have their origins in a major reform of occupational pension law in 2018. They enable – …

Occupational Pensions: Launch of first so-called social partner model Read More »

Stand-by time = working time?

By judgment of 9 March 2021 (docket number: C-580/19) the European Court of Justice (ECJ) has ruled that periods of stand-by time, in their entirety, are considered as “working time” where the constraints imposed on the employees during those periods objectively and very significantly affect their ability freely to manage the time during which their …

Stand-by time = working time? Read More »

Occupational Pensions: Pension benefits from Switzerland are subject to social security contributions in Germany

By judgment of 23 February 2021 (docket number: B 12 KR 32/19 R) the Federal Social Court (Bundessozialgericht) has ruled that benefits from a Swiss pension fund are subject to contributions in the German statutory health insurance and social care insurance if they are comparable to either a German state pension or a German occupational …

Occupational Pensions: Pension benefits from Switzerland are subject to social security contributions in Germany Read More »

Occupational Pensions: Federal Labour Court confirms its established ruling on limited liability in case of acquiring a company out of insolvency

By judgment of 26 January 2021 (docket number: 3 AZR 878/16, 3 AZR 878/17) the Federal Labour Court (Bundesarbeitsgericht – BAG) has ruled that the acquirer of an insolvent company is only liable for vested entitlements and claims to occupational pension that had been earned after the opening of insolvency proceedings. He is not liable …

Occupational Pensions: Federal Labour Court confirms its established ruling on limited liability in case of acquiring a company out of insolvency Read More »

Occupational Pensions: Increase in pension accruals does not justify a reduction in pension benefits

By judgment of 8 December 2020 (docket number: 3 AZR 64/19) the Federal Labour Court (Bundesarbeitsgericht – BAG) has ruled that an increase in pension accruals (as a result of statutory changes in accounting law) does not justify a benefit-reducing adjustment of the pension commitment. Facts: The plaintiff (widow of a former employee) received a …

Occupational Pensions: Increase in pension accruals does not justify a reduction in pension benefits Read More »

Presumption of Discrimination due to Gender in Equal Pay Claims

If a woman’s pay is lower than the comparative pay of her male colleagues, there is a rebuttable presumption of discrimination due to gender. The Problem According to the General Equal Treatment Act (Allgemeines Gleichbehandlungsgesetz), discrimination on the basis of certain characteristics is unlawful. However, it is often impossible for the person discriminated against to …

Presumption of Discrimination due to Gender in Equal Pay Claims Read More »

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. …

SARS-CoV-2 Occupational Health and Safety Ordinance Read More »

Occupational Pensions: Principle of equal treatment does not apply to pension commitments for managing directors

By judgment of 25 November 2020 (docket number: 7 U 1297/20) the Munich Higher Regional Court [Oberlandesgericht München] has ruled that a managing director of a limited liability company [GmbH] cannot invoke the principle of equal treatment under labour law [arbeitsrechtlicher Gleichbehandlungsgrundsatz] if other managing directors have received a better pension commitment. The principle of …

Occupational Pensions: Principle of equal treatment does not apply to pension commitments for managing directors Read More »

Occupational Pensions: Continuing liability for pension obligations after spin-off

By judgment of 22 September 2020 (docket number: 3 AZR 304/18) the German Federal Labor Court [Bundesarbeitsgericht – BAG] has ruled that the subsequent liability of a company involved in a spin-off according to the German Transformation Act [Abspaltung gemäß Umwandlungsgesetz]) with regard to pension liabilities also applies towards the German Statutory Insolvency Protection Fund …

Occupational Pensions: Continuing liability for pension obligations after spin-off Read More »

Occupational Pensions: European Court of Justice strengthens claims of pensioners in case of insolvency

By judgment of 9 September 2020 (docket number: ECLI:EU:C:2020:682; Joined Cases C-674/18 and C-675/18) the European Court of Justice has ruled that the settled case law of the German Federal Labour Court on the limited liability of the acquirer for pension entitlements in the event of insolvency does not apply without restriction. It is only …

Occupational Pensions: European Court of Justice strengthens claims of pensioners in case of insolvency Read More »

Covid-19: Restrictions on travel to Germany

In light of current Covid-19 developments, restrictions on travel to Germany are constantly changing. If the traveller is not able to produce the required documentation, there is a risk that either the airline or the border authority of the Schengen State of first entry, or the German Federal Police, may deny entry to Germany. In …

Covid-19: Restrictions on travel to Germany Read More »

Occupational Pensions: Exclusion of survivor’s pension in case of marriage after early retirement

By judgment of 3 June 2020 (docket number: 3 AZR 226/19) the Federal Labour Court (Bundesarbeitsgericht – BAG) has ruled that the exclusion of a survivor’s pension is justified if the pension plan provides for full pension benefits in the event of early retirement on reaching the age of 50 and if the marriage was …

Occupational Pensions: Exclusion of survivor’s pension in case of marriage after early retirement Read More »

Occupational Pensions: New law introduces insolvency protection for pension benefits granted via pension insurance funds (“Pensionskasse”)

According to a new law (“Siebtes Gesetz zur Änderung des Vierten Buches Sozialgesetzbuch und anderer Gesetze“, BGBl. 2020 I S. 1248 [1271]) pension benefits granted through a so-called pension insurance fund (“Pensionskasse”) will in future be protected against the insolvency of the employer. German occupational pension law stipulates that pension commitments can be granted not …

Occupational Pensions: New law introduces insolvency protection for pension benefits granted via pension insurance funds (“Pensionskasse”) Read More »

Annual Leave: Does the law require employers to remind sick employees to take vacation?

On 7 June 2020, the German Federal Labor Court (FLC) (docket number 9 AZR 401/19) referred a question regarding the compatibility of the expiry of vacation entitlements with EU law to the European Court of Justice (ECJ) for preliminary ruling. This is likely to eliminate remaining legal uncertainties in relation to permanently sick employee’s vacation …

Annual Leave: Does the law require employers to remind sick employees to take vacation? Read More »

Occupational Pensions: No liability of the employer for a reduction of benefits by an external pension carrier before the pension benefits fall due

By judgment of 12 May 2020 (docket number: 3 AZR 157/19) the Federal Labour Court (Bundesarbeitsgericht – BAG) has ruled that the employer’s liability for pension benefits based on pension commitments under the involvement of an external pension carrier pursuant to Section 1 Paragraph 1 Sentence 3 of the German Company Pensions Act (BetrAVG) only …

Occupational Pensions: No liability of the employer for a reduction of benefits by an external pension carrier before the pension benefits fall due Read More »