On August 1, 2022, Germany must implement the new EU Working Conditions Directive into German law. There is some additional work for employers. Find out what will apply from then on.
New employment contracts in Germany: The EU directive on transparent and predictable working conditions has been in force for almost two years. It must be transposed into the national law of the member states by August 1, 2022. To this end, the federal government presented a draft law in March. This also affects old employment contracts. Find out below.
What else must be specified in the future in new employment contract?
Additional points should be included that the employer must record in writing. These are above all the length of the probationary period, the due date for payment of the salary, agreed on breaks, and the possibility of ordering overtime. It applies to all employment relationships that begin after July 31. Here you can see an overview of all changes:
- The composition and amount of wages (including overtime pay, surcharges, allowances, bonuses, special payments, and other components of wages, each of which must be specified separately, and their due date and type of payment).
- (if agreed) the length of the probationary period.
- The agreed working hours, agreed on breaks, and rest periods.
- In the case of agreed shift work, the shift system, the shift rhythm, and the requirements for shift changes and – if agreed – the possibility of arranging overtime and its requirements.
- To put down in writing in the event of termination, termination of the employment relationship to be followed by the employer and employee, at least the written form requirement and the deadlines for the termination of the employment relationship and the deadline for filing an action for protection against unfair dismissal.
- The termination is considered effective if the employee misses the three weeks for filing an action for protection against unfair dismissal.
Are there penalties for violations of the EU directive?
EU Directive 2019/1152 provides that member states should set rules for effective, proportionate, and dissuasive sanctions. The government draft provides that anyone who fails to set down one of the essential contractual conditions correctly, incompletely, and in the prescribed manner or in good time is acting improperly. Such a violation can then be accompanied by a fine of up to EUR 2,000.
Significant legal consequences of change
▶︎ It has direct implications for the design of new employment contracts. But old employment contracts are also affected, either if a change is imminent or at the request of each employee. Upon request, the employee must be given a new contract on the essential conditions of his employment within seven days for the particularly important information or within one month for the remaining information. These are:
- the start of the employment relationship,
- Name, and address of the contracting parties,
- the place of work
- the working hours,
- for fixed-term employment relationships, the duration and the end date,
- the duration of the probationary period,
- the description of the activity,
- the composition and amount of wages,
- where appropriate, arrangements for on-call work; and
- the possibility of ordering overtime.
Other significant changes outside of the Evidence Act
1. Part-time and Fixed-Term Act (TzBfG)
According to the TzBfG, the employer should be obliged in the case of part-time work and fixed-term employment contracts to provide a reasoned answer in text form within one month to employees who have indicated their desire for a change or for a permanent employment relationship in text form. Furthermore, the employer should inform the employee about corresponding jobs that are to be filled in the company or company if the desire to change working hours has been indicated.
▶︎ The regulation on on-call work is also to be supplemented. The intended amendment of § 12 TzBfG envisages an obligation for the employer to specify the time frame (reference hours and days) in which work can take place at his request. The employee should only be obliged to perform work if this has to be done within the specified time frame. As a result, this means that the employee has a right of refusal if either no time frame has been specified or the employer asks him to work outside of the specified time frame.
2. Temporary Employment Act (AÜG)
The draft law provides for an amendment in § 13a AÜG, according to which the hirer of a temporary worker who has been assigned to him for at least six months and who has notified him in text form of the desire to conclude an employment contract, within one month of receipt of the notification, give a justified reason answer in text form. The background is that temporary workers should be made easier to be taken over by the permanent workforce by being informed about the hiring company’s vacancies, notification of the wish to be taken over and the answer to be given by the hiring company.
3. Industrial Code (GewO)
In the GewO, a regulation on compulsory further training is to be made in the future. According to this, employees may not be charged the costs of compulsory further training. Furthermore, such should count as working time if it has to be carried out outside of regular working hours.
- What are the particulars of your employment contract terms in Germany?
- How to understand your German employment contract
- When is a fixed-term employment contract permitted in Germany?