German Employment Law

Update: Occupational Health and Safety During the Pandemic

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

Germany: New Right to Work From Home During the Pandemic

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

Mobile Working in Germany – New Draft Bill Currently Under Discussion

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

Crowdworkers Can Be Employees in Germany!

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

COVID-19 Germany: The New Corona-Warn-App – What Employers Need to Know

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

COVID-19 Germany: Can You Terminate Employment During Short-Time Work?

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.

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COVID-19 Germany: Working From Home and Employer Reimbursement of Remote-Work Expenses

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

COVID-19 – European OSHA Gives Guidance on Returning to Work

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

COVID-19 Germany: How to Handle Short-Time Work Amid the Crisis – A Q&A for Employers

In the wake of COVID-19, many companies in Germany implemented short-time work (Kurzarbeit) in order to safeguard jobs and save on personnel. In our previous blog, we outlined the application process and provided an overview of the updated short-time work regulations introduced by the German government in the light of the coronavirus crisis.

Now that short-time work has been implemented, employers are facing questions arising from the handling of short-time work in practice in the day-to-day. We answer the most frequently asked by employers below.

  1. Secondary employment – Are employees allowed to have a secondary employment during short-time work? If so, how does this affect the short-time work allowance?

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