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.
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.
- 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?
Employee health and safety are top of mind when it comes to work in times of the pandemic – and when starting to take steps to return to a new normal where business continues even as outbreaks may flare up. When the lockdowns have ended, employers must be ready with health & safety protocols limiting contracting COVID-19 in the workplace. The German government now recommends a new occupational safety standard employers should follow to avoid liability. READ MORE
For working parents who are unable to fulfil their working duties due to the closure of kindergarten, day care centre and/or school as a result of the pandemic, the German parliament has passed a new law in a fast-track procedure. The essential aspect under this legislative change is that under certain conditions, affected parents are granted a state-funded compensation claim under the German Infection Protection Act (Infektionsschutzgesetz – IfSchG), which is legally distinct from the contractual remuneration claim. READ MORE
We’ve been following COVID-19 around the globe since January when it became clear that the outbreak in Wuhan, China was having broader employment and business implications. Under the general pattern, countries with a few confirmed cases act to contain the spread of the virus through a combination of inbound travel barriers, mandatory isolation/quarantines and aggressive testing and follow up of suspected contacts of the confirmed cases. If the number of new cases become too numerous to source (i.e., people are getting infected in the community), the focus shifts from containment to damage control in a predictable way. Lockdowns are part of that equation – often beginning with school closures, the ban of large gatherings and the cancelation of events, progressing to the closure of an increasing list of “non-essential businesses” and culminating in mandatory stay at home orders. READ MORE