Unpaid Leave (Sabbatical) Triggers Days of Paid Vacation in Germany

Like in other countries, the parties to an employment agreement in Germany are free to agree on a sabbatical – a defined period during which the employment relationship is suspended. The employee is released from his active duties, and the employer is not obliged to pay remuneration and benefits throughout the agreed sabbatical.

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A Dressing Down – Dress Codes in the Modern Workplace?

According to research cited by the British Association of Dermatologists, one in five Britons now has a tattoo.  Amongst US 30 somethings, the estimate rises to about two in five, with facial piercings being almost as common in both countries.  As a result, this is becoming an issue that more and more employers have to grapple with.

Employers may wish to promote a certain image through their employees which they believe reflects the ethos of their organization and tattoos and piercings may well not fit with that image.  So how should this be handled and are there any pitfalls of imposing rules of this nature on employees?

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The German Federal Labor Court (Bundesarbeitsgericht – BAG) rejects doubtful discrimination complaints

Even if a potential Employer does not know that an applicant is unsuitable for the offered job from an objective point of view, compensation claims based on discrimination would not be granted.

The first comprehensive anti-discrimination law, regulated in the General Equal Treatment Act (Allgemeines Gleichbehandlungsgesetz – “AGG”), was introduced in Germany in 2006. In the early years of this Act, many so called “AGG-Hoppers” have abused this situation by applying for discriminatory job offers to assert a compensation claim against inexperienced employers as a second step.

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Appointment of a Data Protection Officer in Germany: You Wanna Avoid Trouble? Then Make Sure You Appoint the Right Person!

Data protection law is on the rise. Courts as well as local authorities become increasingly sensitive to the misuse of any individual’s personal data that applicable statutory provisions in Germany, such as the Federal Data Protection Act (Bundesdatenschutzgesetz, “BDSG”), intend to prevent. Read More

Germany: When is a New Hire too old to join a Company Pension Scheme?

In Germany, all employees are mandatorily covered by the statutory pension insurance which provides the main source of income during retirement. In addition, many companies grant company pension benefits to their employees, subject to the terms and conditions of the company pension scheme established for this purpose. The amount of the company pension payable after retirement increases with the length of service. Read More

Trials and Tribulations in UK Employment Tribunals

In July last year, fees were introduced for employees to bring claims and the Ministry of Justice has just published Tribunal statistics for October to December 2013 (the first full quarter since the introduction of the fees) which show that in that time, employment tribunals received 79% fewer claims than the same quarter in 2012 and 75% fewer than in the previous quarter. Read More

Germany: A “Permanent Temp Worker” is not the Lessee’s Employee

In Germany, many companies have resorted to utilizing temp workers through a third-party agency instead of hiring their own personnel. Temp workers typically are leased from an agency that employs the temps and assigns them to the company (lessee). This staffing model has increasingly received political criticism and judicial attention. Read More

Germany: Bonus Cap for Bank Staff Introduced

In Germany, remuneration of managers in general has increasingly come into public and political focus.

Over the last years, the German legislator enacted several law reforms concerning managers’ pay. Very recently, the German Banking Act (Kreditwesengesetz “KWG”) was amended effective January 2014, to provide for further restrictions on bonus payments for managers and employees in the banking industry. A reform of the German Stock Corporation Act (Aktiengesetz “AktG”) however, shifting the authority of determining the remuneration of board members to the shareholders’ meeting was stopped, but presumably only for the time being. Read More

Orrick’s Global Employment Law & Litigation Newsletter – Fall 2013

Welcome to the Fall 2013 edition of Orrick World: A Quarterly Report of Global Employment Law Issues for Multinationals. We have designed this newsletter to provide our multinational clients with quarterly updates on important employment law issues across the globe. Read More.

Is it now OK to have the ‘It’s not working…’ conversation in the UK?

July 29, 2013 was a big day for employment law in the UK.

Firstly compromise agreements were renamed ‘settlement agreements’. This is largely a rebranding exercise but one that is welcome as we now have a title which more accurately describes what the agreement is designed to achieve.

On this same date, changes around ‘pre-termination discussions’ came into effect. These changes are contained in the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Act and talk about ‘confidentiality of negotiations before termination of employment’. The theory behind this new law is that employers should be able to discuss with their employees the option of the employee leaving with a settlement agreement without the risk that that discussion itself will be used against them in a future claim. Read More