Recent news

Latest items of recent news relevant to Germany as reported in our fortnightly newswire ‘Dernières nouvelles’.

Germany: Premature meeting of a Conciliation Board makes its outcomes invalid

Under German Codetermination rules a Conciliation Board may be appointed to settle disputes concerning Works Agreements …

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Germany: Employee may not refuse dress code based on personal taste

The Düsseldorf Regional Labour Court has found that an employee’s repeated refusal to wear protective work trousers because they were coloured red was cause enough for them to be dismissed …

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Germany: Transparent employment terms

The Berlin-Brandenburg Regional Labour Court has ruled that where an employee is promised in their employment contract a 13th month salary “depending on the operating result” then the qualifying clause will be null and void because it lacks ‘transparency’ …

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Germany: Weighing up the job equivalence of overtime

According to a recent written answer to a question posed in the Bundestag, during 2023 German workers were engaged in a total of 1 …

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Germany: Missed work breaks

The Federal Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (BAuA) has found that around a third of employees do not have regular work breaks …

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Germany: Narrowing pay gap (April 2022-23)

The federal statistics agency Destatis has found, in its most recent earnings survey, that between April 2022 and April 2023 the gap between high (top 10%) and low (bottom 10%) earners fell from 3 …

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Germany: Representation for disabled on works councils

The Federal Labour Court has ruled that even if the threshold of five disabled employees has not been reached on a company payroll, they are still entitled to representation on the company works council …

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Germany: Two-households can lead to offset of second home tax

The Federal Finance Court has ruled that although an individual who keeps two households in order to be near their workplace during the week may claim for the added costs (including second home tax), the maximum total claim against tax that may be made is €1,000 pcm [VI R 30/21] …

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Germany: An employee’s diet is critical when undertaking rotating shifts or night work

According to the German Society for Nutrition, those working at irregular times, or during the night commonly suffer from stress – which is often exacerbated by the timing and nature of meals …

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Germany: Digital data facility for WC notifications

In Germany, employers are all too frequently under the thumb of their Works Councils, not least because they have to gain prior approval for each new hire …

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Germany: Cases where too few candidates stand for a Works Council

Does the existence of too few candidates for a Works Council relative to the numbers set out in S9 of the Works Constitution Act invalidate the resulting election? According to the Federal Labour Court, this does not make the resulting council unconstitutional – as long as an “odd” number of council members is elected, with a minimum of three achieved [7 ABR 26/23] …

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Germany: Employee consent required prior to use of digital mailboxes

Although Section 87 (para 1:4) BetrVG grants the right of codetermination in respect to the time, place and payment of wages, does this also extend to the digital issue of payslips? The Saxony State Labour Court believes that it does not …

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Germany: Employee targets must be set in a timely way

A case before the Cologne Labour court has established that an employer must set achievable performance targets early enough in the year to allow for them to be met, otherwise the employee(s) affected must be compensated [4 Sa 390/23] …

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Germany: Excessive interpretation costs

Where there are a substantial number of non-German speakers at a works council meeting, it is the obligation of the employer concerned to pay for appropriate interpreters (S40 …

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Germany: Beiersdorf to support employees with critical illnesses

The multinational skin care company Beiersdorf now provides all its employees in its Consumer Business Segment worldwide with a one-year employment guarantee and 100% salary continuation following the diagnosis of a life-threatening illness …

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