Labor law decision 1: Recording working hours becomes mandatory
In September 2022, following a hearing in North Rhine-Westphalia, the Federal Labor Court issued a new ruling regarding the recording of working hours. Recording working time will become mandatory in Germany. The basis for this was laid by the ECJ ruling of 2019, which requires objective, reliable and accessible working time recording. The German government has been working on implementing this requirement into German law since then.
Experts see the challenge in finding a progressive solution that also takes into account employees with trust-based working hours or who work from home. In order to overcome the difficulty of recording working hours in these working models, the use of a personnel management system is a valuable option.
Labor law decision 2: Limitation of leave only under certain conditions
According to last year's ruling of the ECJ, employees' remaining vacation may no longer expire automatically. The consequence? Remaining leave may only expire if the company fulfills its obligation to notify the employee of this well ahead of time. This notification must take the form of a formal request to the employee to take the remaining vacation days.
In addition, it was decided that the inheritance of vacation entitlement is now possible. In the event of the death of an employee, the heirs can demand compensation for the remaining leave.
Employment law decision 3: Can mandatory testing be introduced?
According to the Federal Labor Court, employers are entitled to introduce a corona test obligation for employees on the basis of a company protection and hygiene concept. A flutist employed by the Bavarian State Opera had filed a lawsuit because she was required to submit a negative PCR test. The Federal Labor Court rejected the complaint and ruled that the testing requirement was lawful. As a result, the flutist was not paid her salary for the period of her absence.
Labor law decision 4: Information for a mass dismissal notification
According to the decision of the Federal Labor Court, the lack of certain voluntary information (gender, age, profession, nationality) in a mass dismissal notification does not render the notification invalid for the Federal Employment Agency.
If an employer terminates a certain number of employees in one month, it must notify the employment agency in the form of a mass dismissal notification. In one particular case, a company had failed to provide certain information in the notification, whereupon an employee considered her dismissal to be null and void and filed a lawsuit.
The Federal Labor Court ultimately ruled that the omission of the "required information" did not render the collective redundancy notice invalid. The ruling is seen as an important step towards legal certainty for employers, who can now follow the explicit reference in the employment agency's notification form to the voluntary nature of the target information.
Labor law decision 5: Cross-border employee transfer
Another judgment of the Federal Labor Court announced that an employee may be transferred abroad unless otherwise agreed in the employment contract. The employer can therefore instruct the employee to work at a location abroad on the basis of his right to issue instructions under the employment contract. However, the transfer order must comply with equitable discretion and take into account the legitimate interests of the employee. One specific case concerned a pilot who was stationed at Nuremberg Airport and was transferred to Bologna Airport.
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