Tag archives: works council

Management and foreign languages: Communication with the works council

Managers of international companies are often confronted with the problem of having to communicate with their employees and the works council in a foreign language that they do not fully master. This can easily lead to conflicts. In a recent decision in June, the Nuremberg Regional Labor Court (ref. 1 TaBV 33/19) has now clarified the scope.

The works council of a German branch of a Spanish clothing company demanded that communication with the branch manager, who at the beginning hardly spoke any German, be conducted exclusively in German during meetings or negotiations. Appraisal interviews and staff meetings had been … Continue Reading

COVID-19 / Germany: Admissible measures and co-determination rights

The rapid spread of COVID-19 within Europe and the beginning of the pandemic have led many of our clients to consider how employees and, if necessary, customers can be protected against any further spread of the infection and which employment law related measures should they be taking. We have summarised and answered the main questions in a table below. This table is intended as guide for questions arising at short notice and represents the current legal opinion of our colleagues working in the field of German employment law.

Please note, however, that the current legal assessments, in particular with regard … Continue Reading

French employment code reform: Focus on the social and economic committee

French President Emmanuel Macron has signed five ordinances making important changes to several aspects of the French employment code. The ordinances, which were immediately published in the French Official Journal on September 23rd, 2017, are aimed in particular at providing employers more flexibility and predictability in labour-management relations. They were supplemented by a number of decrees (some additional regulations should be published soon).

The law ratifying these ordinances is currently being discussed before the Senate. Pending its publication, all provisions of this ambitious reform (the “Reform”) are applicable.

Due to the significant amount of amendments to French employment regulation provided … Continue Reading

What rights does an employer have to suspend an employee in Germany?

Under German law, an employer can only suspend an employee in certain cases. One of the core obligations of the employment relationship is an obligation on the employer to provide the employee with relevant work to be performed. If it fails to do so without justification, it must nevertheless continue to pay the employee. Notwithstanding this, a mutual agreement to suspend the employee, whether paid or unpaid, is of course always possible.

Suspension without continued payment of remuneration

An employer may not suspend an employee without payment of salary unless it is explicitly provided for by law or in collective … 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 inform and consult any existing works council. The employer must provide the works council with the following information:

  • Details of the employees who are to be dismissed (including their name, place of work, position, remuneration, age, family status, job tenure, maintenance obligations, any severe disability,
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Collective consultation on redundancy – what obligations do employers have in France

General comments

Under French employment law, employees’ representatives benefit from a right to be consulted on a very wide range of matters concerning the running of the company. In particular, the works council must be informed and consulted on any matter relating to the organisation, the management and the general running of the company, which unsurprisingly includes collective dismissals for economic reasons (there are still uncertainties about the existence of a consultation obligation in case of individual redundancy).

Aside from this general rule, there exist different sets of rules applicable to procedures for collective dismissals that implement a requirement of … Continue Reading

Unlimited term for members of the works council – part two

As discussed in my post of 28 May 2014, the German Federal Labour Court was about to decide on a case where a member of the works council claimed against her employer for an employment unlimited in time after the expiration of her agreed fixed-term employment contract. The decision is now available.

The Federal Labour Court, which is the highest labour court in Germany, decided against the employee, as she could not prove that she was discriminated against due to membership of the works council.

Although this is good news for employers, they should be aware that the court … Continue Reading

Unlimited term for members of the works council?

Recently, a German Higher Labour Court had to decide on the following question: Where an employee becomes a member of the works council during his/her fixed term, is or can an employment unlimited in time be created automatically at the end of that fixed term?

Generally speaking, an employer can agree a fixed term for an employee of up to two years without any specific reason. Provided that the legal formalities are met (in particular, the term must be in writing) and the employee is not employed after the expiration of the term, the employment terminates automatically on the agreed … Continue Reading

Do agency workers count as employees at the hirer’s business?

In Germany, a number of employees’ rights and employers’ obligations depend on specific thresholds regarding the number of employees assigned to a business unit or a company. The German Federal Labour Court recently decided two cases with regard to agency workers and their effect on dismissal protection and on the number of works council members at the hirer’s business:

  • If an employer employs more than five employees (or more than ten with respect to employees hired after 31 December 2003), the provisions of the Act on Protection against Unfair Dismissal apply. This means that an employee who has been employed
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