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Validity of Exclusion Clauses in Employment Contracts

Flag on January 10th, 2016

It is common practice for German employment contracts to have a mutual clause that excludes claims by either party if they have not been declared by written notice within a three month period.  These clauses usually require the notice to be made by way of a formal letter which is personally signed by the employee. […]

Employers no longer obliged to offer positions in overseas branches for forced redundancies

Flag on January 4th, 2016

Under German law, redundancy dismissals must be based on compelling operational reasons and, in order to avoid wrongful termination of employment, the employer must prove that the position now being made redundant permanently ceases to exist and offer the employee any alternative vacant positions within the company.   Recent developments A recent Federal Labour Court […]

New social security contributions

Flag on January 10th, 2015

The German Federal Cabinet has published the draft of a regulation concerning the social security contribution ceilings of 2016. As provided for in the German Code of Social Law, important social security contribution ceilings are adjusted according to the income in the year before last (i.e.2014 for 2016 contributions). Please find the social security contributions […]

Germany: employer fined for spying on sick employee

Flag on January 3rd, 2015

A German employer who hired a private detective to check whether a sick employee was really unfit for work has been fined for violating the employee’s human rights.  After the ruling by the German Federal Labour Court, the employee was awarded compensation of €1,000 for immaterial damage – significantly less than the €10,500 initially claimed. […]

New ‘Frauenquote’ introduces targets for senior women in Germany

Flag on January 1st, 2015

In December 2014, the German government introduced legislation to increase the number of women in senior positions in Germany’s leading organisations.  From 2016, at least 30% of all supervisory board positions in Germany’s largest companies must be held by women. The so-called ‘Frauenquote’ will only apply to publicly listed companies where more than 50% of […]

Wife inherits dead husband’s holiday pay

Flag on January 10th, 2014

In a decision that could affect all EU countries, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) has ruled that a German company was acting against EU law when it refused to pay the widow of a former employee an allowance in lieu her dead husband’s outstanding holiday entitlement. Entitlement to pay in lieu of holiday does […]

German Social Security Rates for 2015

Flag on January 9th, 2014

The expected 2015 social security rates for Germany are set out below.  These are subject to confirmation by the Federal Cabinet and Council in October 2014. New rates for 2015 Area of social security Contribution threshold 2015* Pension and unemployment insurance (West Germany) 72.600 EUR p.a. / 6.050 EUR p.m. (East Germany) 62.400 EUR p.a. […]

Minimum wage to be introduced in Germany from 2015

Flag on January 7th, 2014

A minimum wage of € 8.50 gross per hour will be introduced in Germany for the first time from January 2015. Collective agreements with a lower minimum wage can still remain in force until December 2016. The minimum wage will be reassessed every other year and shall be in line with the overall progression of […]

Temporary workers must be counted for unfair dismissal protection

Flag on January 9th, 2013

The rules on protection against unfair dismissal under the Employment Protection Act (“Kuendigungsschutzgesetz”) are only applicable in establishments, if more than ten employees are employed on a regular basis (‘regelmäßig’). The Federal Labour Court ruled earlier this year that temporary workers should be included when calculating the number of employees in the workforce if the […]