In June 2022, a new law is expected to be passed in Germany implementing the EU Directive 2019/1152 into national law. The new law supplements existing German law which already provides for the right of employees to a written record of the essential working conditions by introducing a fine of up to EUR 2,000 per employee in the event that the employer does not provide the specified written information.
What information is required to be given?
Currently, the employer is obliged to inform their employees about the following employment conditions in writing:
- The name and address of the contracting parties,
- The date of commencement of the employment relationship,
- In the case of fixed-term employment relationships: the foreseeable duration of the employment relationship,
- The place of work or, if the employee is not to work at only one particular place of work, an indication that the employee may be employed at different places,
- A brief characterisation or description of the work to be performed by the employee,
- The composition and amount of remuneration, including supplements, allowances, bonuses and special payments and other components of remuneration and their due dates,
- The agreed working hours,
- The duration of the annual holiday,
- The periods of notice for termination of the employment relationship,
- A general reference to the collective agreements, works agreements or service agreements applicable to the employment relationship.
In addition to the above, the new Act will make it necessary to inform the employee about the following:
- In case of a fixed-term, the end date of the fixed-term or the duration,
- In case of a trial period, the duration of a trial period,
- The remuneration for overtime,
- Rest breaks and times and in case of shift work, the shift system, shift rhythm and prerequisites for shift changes,
- In the case of work on demand, the number of paid hours, the minimum number of hours to be remunerated, the time frame, determined by reference days and reference hours, fixed for the performance of the work; and the time limit within which the employer must give advance notice of the location of the working time
- The possibility of ordering overtime and its conditions
- Any entitlement to training provided by the employer
- If the employer promises the employee an occupational pension through a pension institution, the name and address of that pension institution; the obligation to provide evidence does not apply if the pension institution is obliged to provide this information.
- The procedure to be followed by the employer and the employee when terminating the employment relationship, at least the requirement of the written form and the time limits for terminating the employment relationship, as well as the time limit for bringing an action for protection against dismissal; section 7 of the Protection against Dismissal Act shall also apply in the event of improper proof of the time limit for bringing an action for protection against dismissal,
- Regulations of commissions with equal representation that determine working conditions for church employers on the basis of church law.
In addition to the above, if an employee is sent on an assignment to work abroad for more than one month, the employer currently has to inform the employee about the following:
- The duration of the employment to be performed abroad,
- The currency in which the remuneration is paid,
- Any additional remuneration associated with the stay abroad and any additional benefits in kind associated with it,
- The agreed conditions for the return of the employee.
From 01/08/2022, the employer must also provide the following additional written information:
- The country or countries in which the work abroad is to be performed,
- Secondment allowances and travel, subsistence and accommodation expenses to be reimbursed,
- Conditions of the return of the employee,
- In case of assignments under the Posted Workers Directive, the remuneration the employee is entitled to under the laws of the EU member state where the employee shall work,
- A Link to the official website of the member state with the information according to the EU Directive 2014/67/EU.
What action is required, and by when?
For new employees, employment contracts need to be adapted from 01/08/2022.
If the employment relationship already existed prior to 1 August 2022, the written information must be delivered within either seven days or one month of receipt of a request by the employer depending on the type of information requested.
Employers should review their employment documentation now to ensure they are ready for compliance.
Find out more
This article was produced by Stefanie Andrelang –Specialist lawyer for labor law at Keller Menz, Germany, a CELIA Alliance member firm.
CELIA Alliance members are identified here. Members of the CELIA Alliance are each independent law firms and do not practice law jointly with any other member of the CELIA Alliance. "CELIA Alliance" and "CELIA" are not trading names. For more information about the CELIA Alliance click here.
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