On 29 July 2013, a blog entry on time limitations of employment relationships in Germany stated that the employer may agree on a fixed term contract for a period of up to two years if the candidate was not employed by the company within the last three years. This has been the opinion of the German Federal Labour Court since 2011.
Guess what – this opinion is now outdated due to a new decision of the Higher Labour Court of Baden Wuerttemberg that contradicts the Federal Labour Court’s decision and states that such agreement is valid only if the candidate was never employed by the company.
The final decision on the case is awaited at the Federal Labour Court and we shall see whether they stick to their previous opinion formed in 2011 or whether they go along with the new interpretation of law (which actually mirrors the general opinion before 2011).
Until that final decision comes out – which could take a while – employers should be aware of the risk of creating an unlimited term of employment if they agree on a fixed term contract with a former employee even if that former employment took place a long time ago.