Andreas Reuther

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What protection do employees have against discrimination on grounds of age?

In Germany, employees may not be treated adversely on the grounds of race, ethnic origin, gender, religion, secular belief, disability, sexual identity or age. Any provisions in agreements which violate the prohibition of adverse treatment are invalid. Where there has been adverse treatment, the employer is obliged to pay the affected employee compensation unless the … Continue reading

Collective consultation on redundancy – what obligations do employers have?

In Germany, an employer must comply with certain consultation obligations when dismissing an employee. Failure to do so may result in the dismissal being held null and void by a labour court or the court awarding compensation to the affected employees. The works council and dismissals Prior to giving notice of termination, an employer must … Continue reading

No automatic presumption of good assessments in employment references in Germany

Good news for all employers: The German Federal Labour Court has recently reversed the disastrous judgment of the Regional Labour Court of Berlin-Brandenburg concerning the allocation of the burden of proof with regard to assessments in employment references. Basic principles re employment references In Germany, upon termination of the employment relationship employees can claim for … Continue reading

Employees’ rights and obligations relating to the use of social media in Germany

In Germany 80% of all internet users are registered in social networks and 70% of all internet users actively make use of social networks. This development is also increasingly having an impact on the world of employment. Social media and recruitment In general, German data protection legislation allows the employer to collect and use an … Continue reading

Reform of the German Law On Parental Allowance And Parental Leave (Bundeselterngeld- und Elternzeitgesetz – BEEG)

On 7 November 2014 the German Bundestag passed the reform of the German Law On Parental Allowance And Parental Leave (Bundeselterngeld- und Elternzeitgesetz – BEEG). The purpose of this reform is to improve the compatibility of work and family life for parents on a partnership basis. In essence, the main revisions – that will most … Continue reading

Confirmation of the jurisdiction re long-term assignment of temporary workers

The claimant had been working for the defendant hospital as a temporary worker since 1 August 2008. Against the background that the German Temporary Employment Act only provides for assignments that are limited in time, the claimant argued that an employment relationship between her and the hospital had been created by law because of her … Continue reading

No work, no holiday?

The German Federal Labour Court recently ruled that the statutory holiday entitlement remains unaffected by an unpaid special leave. This might sound weird but indeed this means that going forward companies have to grant holidays/vacation even for sabbaticals. In the case the parties had agreed upon an unpaid special leave from January through September 2011. … Continue reading

Company pensions need to be adjusted to inflation

Under German law, employers are obliged to check regularly (at least every three years) whether benefit payments from company pensions ought to be adjusted for inflation. In their check they may consider the company’s economic situation. Employers are not obliged to increase pension payments if they believe (and such belief is reasonable with a sufficient … Continue reading

Do Employers have a duty to inform about occupational pension schemes?

In Germany, employees have the statutory right to ask their employers to pay part of their future earnings – up to 4 % of the relevant contribution assessment ceiling for the statutory pension fund – into an occupational pension scheme through the conversion of earnings into pension contributions. The German Federal Labour Court recently ruled … Continue reading