Imagine that you have a senior employee who you have decided (for whatever reason) that you do not want anymore but you do not want to pay out his 12-month notice period. As an ingenious attempt to get around that, you instruct forensic investigators to carry out a ‘fishing expedition’ to try and find some dirt on him that will justify you summarily dismissing him, rather than paying out what he is owed under his contract. Imagine that your luck is in and you do indeed find some dirt but that the dirt you find is five year old dirt. Would you think that the High Court is going to accept this approach and agree that you don’t have to pay the notice period?
German companies rely heavily on temporary workers. Due to fundamental legislative reforms in the mid-2000s, it is possible to pay temporary workers a salary which is below the salary of comparable permanent staff. Therefore, the use of temporary workers provided by HR service providers is a cost effective way for German companies to flexibly adjust their workforce to the current demand of labor. However, in recent years, several High Court decisions have strengthened the rights of temporary workers. In the last months the Federal Labor Court (Bundesarbeitsgericht “BAG”) has issued several important decisions which aim to further improve the rights of temporary workers and also affect companies using the services provided by temporary workers. German companies who employ temporary workers should be aware of these important new developments. READ MORE