Keeping an eye on Europe: developments in labor law
The trends toward further regulation and Europeanization of the labor law are currently unmistakable, whether it relates to the statutory minimum wage, supply of temporary workers or anti-discrimination policies. The case law established by the European Court of Justice (EuGH) has been influencing the German labor law in a very significant way for years.
The team of labor law experts at LSV provides advice to national and international businesses as well as managers / employees for any questions related to the collective and individual regulation of labor relations and represents clients at all instances within the system of labor courts.
Individual labor law
Change and termination of employment relationships
The change and termination of employment relationships are some of the core topics for which attorneys at LSV provide guidance. Based on our experience, obtaining advice from an attorney at an early stage can prevent or at the very least reduce consequential costs.
Effectiveness of warning notices
Performance-related or behavior-based warning notices are often ineffective. Since a warning notice is relevant with regard to the termination, it should be drafted by an attorney or reviewed for its effectiveness from the employee’s point of view. Minute details in the formulation are often crucial.
Notices of termination
The contractual parties are entitled to the ordinary termination of the employment relationship with the observation of an appropriate time for giving notice, or to extraordinary termination without previous notice for good cause.
The written form is required for the termination of an employment relationship, or else it shall be deemed ineffective.
After an employee has received a notice of termination, he should have it reviewed by an attorney if he has any doubts about the effectiveness. Legal advice should be obtained without delay, because in most cases, it is no longer possible to contest notices of termination after a period of three weeks. In that case, the timely filing of a suit before the competent labor court shall be required for compliance with the time limit.
This helps to minimize costs and risks at an earlier stage.
An employer should obtain competent legal advice before issuing a notice of termination, in order to assess his prospects of success in a legal process and to avoid serious process-related risks. Costs and risks can only be minimized in this fashion.
The applicability of the Employment Protection Act [Kündigungsschutzgesetz - KSchG] is of significant importance with regard to the outcome of such litigation proceedings. The requirements for the effectiveness of a notice of termination are considerably higher in a grievance proceeding than in smaller operations. In that case, the employer will in fact be obligated to provide proof that the notice of termination is socially justified. If he is unable to furnish this proof or if any doubt remains, this regularly leads to negotiations about the mutually agreeable termination of the employment relationship. If no agreement can be reached, the labor court will make the decision with the issuance of a verdict. If the wrongful termination claim is admitted, the employment relationship does not end and the employer is required to continue employing the employee and pay any outstanding wages. Otherwise, the claim will be dismissed on the basis of the effectiveness of the termination. However, in most wrongful termination hearings, the parties reach a compromise. A date will be specified on which the employment relationship has ended, and because the employee has lost his workplace as a result, he receives a severance package. But the amount of the agreed severance depends to a large degree on the strategy, tactics and the negotiation skills of the appointed attorney. Our specialist attorneys can be trusted wholeheartedly in this matter.
Special protection against layoff
Special legal rules, e.g. the prohibition of giving notice, are in place for pregnant women, members of the works council, election board members and election candidates, in-house data protection officers and other groups of employees. These are often overlooked and we recommend obtaining legal advice before issuing a notice of termination.
Quality of employment references
Employment references serve as business cards for future employment relationships. We are happy to explain to you the meaning of certain formulations and the particulars of the language used in employment references. The employment reference, its content and the evaluation should always be factored into the agreement regarding the termination of an employment relationship.
Executives / managing directors / management board members
The team at LSV provides advice to executives, managing directors and management board members for any questions related to labor and corporate law. Special provisions relevant to the termination must be considered in particular for employees in managing or executive positions, if it is intended that they part company. A violation may result in the determination of the ineffectiveness of the termination notice in a legal procedure, which is in turn associated with considerable economic disadvantages for the involved business. Conversely, executives and employees in managing positions are also encouraged to obtain timely legal advice and representation, if rifts develop in the employment relationship.
Our services related to the drafting of contracts
Drafting of employment contracts with performance-based remuneration systems
Drafting of standardized employment contracts for companies, taking into account the current case law on labor standards regulations
Contracts for part-time arrangements, temporary labor contracts and labor contracts with post-contractual non-compete clauses.
Customized advice for management board members, managing directors, senior staff and other managers.
Review of labor contracts for employees
Drafting and negotiating agreements to terminate a contract
Our consulting services related to human resource management
Conditions for deploying employees to other countries
Data protection in the company and protection against discrimination [General Act on Equal Treatment - Allgemeines Gleichbehandlungsgesetz - AGG]
Clarification of questions related to social insurance law (e.g. fictitious self-employment)
Right to take a vacation, continued payment of wages in the event of illness, special legal job protection for pregnant women and people with severe disabilities, minimum wage, entitlement to parental leave and reduction of the working hours
Right to work results (copyrights)
Counseling of employers and employees bound by collective bargaining agreements with regard to matters governed by the labor contract
Application and effects of generally binding collective agreements
Reference to collective agreements and wage hikes agreed on the basis of a labor contract
The team at LSV supports company groups and businesses with company-related and operational restructuring processes and provides advice about the conceptual design and implementation of the decisions. We help you with the introduction of in-house pension plan systems or with the finalization of pension commitments (direct pension, etc.) and the development of an early retirement scheme.
We negotiate plans for the reconciliation of interests and for social compensation on both the employers’ side as well as on the side of employee representation. We represent employers and works councils out of court and in court, including at an operational level. Our many years of experience in labor management relations and employee representation law put us in the perfect position to assist you e.g. with the arrangement and/or interpretation of operating or works agreements.