Dr. André Zimmermann, a Certified Specialist for Employment Law (Fachanwalt für Arbeitsrecht), heads Orrick’s German Employment Practice. With around 15 years of international experience, André is well-versed in restructuring and headcount reduction, employment aspects of M&A transactions and employment related litigation with a sector focus on technology companies and multi-jurisdictional and cross-border employment law issues.
André has been listed as "frequently recommended" employment law expert by JUVE Handbook of German Commercial Law Firms, Germany's leading lawyer ranking, since its 2017/18 edition and was ranked top employment lawyer by renown German business weekly WirtschaftsWoche 2019 and as one of Germany's Best Lawyers in Employment Law by Handelsblatt / Best Lawyers in 2020 and 2021. Clients recommend André to JUVE as “straight shooter" and "always refreshingly honest".
Our clients praise André's "creative and efficient style of working" and "a very practical and efficient style of providing advice", referring to him as "extremely responsive and accessible when we have urgent matters" and as "an excellent advocate in court hearings".
André advises companies on a wide range of HR legal matters with a special sector focus on technology companies, including hiring and discrimination concerns, misclassification, multi-jurisdictional and cross-border employment issues, HR data privacy compliance, roll out of employee handbooks and policies, performance management and terminations. Having long-standing experience in negotiating with works councils and unions in restructuring measures of all kind, a special focus of André's practice is on restructuring, outsourcing and headcount reductions. He is an acknowledged specialist in employing third-party personnel, especially through temporary agency work.
André has thorough knowledge of and genuine passion for the tech industry. Most recently, he has advised leading multinational technology companies such as GoPro, Pinterest, GitHub, Nvidia, Sabre, Snap and Splunk on various employment matters.
André is a core member of our global employment law practice consisting of 80 specialized employment lawyers and world leading practices in our offices in the United States, Asia and Europe, offering the highest level of employment advice in all major jurisdictions. Our well-established teamwork across offices ensures international advice in employment law in our clients' cross-border projects.
The Federal Cabinet has introduced a draft bill to make it easier for employees to establish and elect works councils and to facilitate the works councils’ work in an increasingly digitalized work environment, the “Betriebsrätemodernisierungsgesetz“.
Less Red Tape and More Protection
The draft bill intends to facilitate the establishment of works councils, in particular in smaller companies and to strengthen the protection of the employees involved. To justify the need of the draft bill, the Federal Cabinet relies on statistics according to which only 9 % of the operations in western Germany with works council capacity have elected a works council. Employers shall be hindered to prevent the election of a works council in a more effective manner than before.
For as long as the threat of infection from COVID-19 remains, businesses will have to maintain a safe and healthy workplace to an increased degree. In order to clarify and sort out the large number of recommendations, the German government has updated the SARS-CoV-2 Occupational Health and Safety Standard for employers from April 2020 of which we had highlighted the key points here. It has also updated the SARS-CoV-2- Occupational Health and Safety Rule which serves as concretization of the Health and Safety Standard. READ MORE
On 19 January 2021, the German Chancellor and Federal Prime Ministers passed a new resolution on further measures to combat the Corona pandemic.
The Federal Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs implemented this resolution in a new ordinance, the Corona-ArbSchV, which will enter into force on Wednesday, January 27, 2021 and will initially apply for a limited period until March 15, 2021. READ MORE
The legal framework for regular work in the mobile office is currently still lacking in Germany—the Federal Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs wants to close this gap.
The German government coalition parties have always expressed their intention to support mobile work in Germany. It seems that these endeavours are picking up pace slowly but surely. In the first step, the minister of labor and social affairs had issued a draft bill in October 2020 containing an employee entitlement to work remotely for 24 days per year. This draft has been widely criticized by employers’ associations and legal experts. Against this background, a second draft has been worked out by the end of November. This draft bill is currently being discussed within the Federal Cabinet. READ MORE
The German Federal Labor Court decided in an eagerly awaited ruling that crowdworkers or microtaskers can be classified as employees under German employment law. The decision will likely have significant impacts for the so-called gig economy. Although the ruling will not render the business model entirely impossible, platform operators will have to review and possibly reconsider their processes. READ MORE
A few days ago, the much-anticipated official Corona-Warn-App, commissioned by the German government, went live – and has since been downloaded over 10 million times. The goal is to convince as many people as possible to use the track-and-trace-app to curb the spread of COVID-19. While extensive use of the app can be a benefit for employers who are looking at re-opening and return to work planning, some legal questions come up in the employment context.
How Does the App Work? READ MORE
The COVID-19 crisis led to drastic changes in employment. Although measures have been taken by the German legislator and the government to secure jobs, staff cuts appear inevitable for many companies as the crisis progresses. The following blogpost explains how short-time work and layoffs relate to each other and what companies must do to effectively terminate employment.
Due to the pandemic-related increase in remote work, questions come up who will end up bearing additional costs – such as increased electricity costs and expenses for cell phone and internet plan. There is also a need for clarification regarding occupational health and safety when working remotely. READ MORE
When starting to take steps to return to a new normal where business continues, even as outbreaks may flare up, employee health and safety certainly are top of mind. Since many EU member states are loosening up COVID-19 lockdowns, employers need to know how to ensure a safe environment for their employees when they come back to the workplace. READ MORE
The German government has agreed on additional benefit packages worth billions. Companies that recently implemented short-time work and their employees are to profit from this.