Work is not always pleasure.
Labour law for employers and employees
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Labour law is a comprehensive body of law and applies as soon as an employer is confronted with an employee.
Drafting contracts with foresight can avoid or at least reduce conflicts.
We are happy to advise you.
We advise both employers and employees in the diverse areas of employment law. Starting with the drafting of service contracts, managing director contracts, rules of procedure, works agreements, advice on data protection issues up to the termination of employment relationships and litigation before labour courts.
The clarification of labour law issues in the context of company acquisitions or restructurings is an often underestimated topic.
Since we stand for a holistic view and it is important to us to know that both sides are well represented, there is also the possibility for employees to contact us with questions. Questions can arise in numerous and complex constellations. Whether between the employer and an employee (e.g. application for leave, leave of absence or termination of employment) or the entire workforce (e.g. questions about the works council or working time regulations) or only among employees (e.g. mobbing).
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Where does labour law apply?
Labour law regulates the legal relationship between employer and employee. It is therefore also referred to as the special right of dependent employees. It is a relationship under private law that arises on the basis of a contract (the employment contract).
It includes those provisions that regulate the rights and obligations between employer and employees. The starting point is therefore an employment relationship. Labour law exists in particular to compensate for the disparity between employers and employees. As there is inequality between the employee and the employer due to the employee’s dependency (disparity).
Labour law is divided into employment contract law, employee protection law and collective labour law. It includes several laws and regulations such as the Salaried Employees Act, the Holiday Act and collective agreements.
The scope of application of labour law is extensive and deals with a wide variety of matters. For example with: Termination of employment, leave, workplace, mobbing, flexitime, works council, collective agreement, parental leave, part-time and unemployment benefits – to name but a few.
Work is not always pleasure.
Labour law for employees
When do I need a lawyer?
- You were suddenly and unexpectedly given notice of termination.
- Your leave entitlement is not approved or has been refused without reason.
- You are bullied or harassed by your colleagues.
- You have not received payment for months.
- You were promised severance pay when you were dismissed, and you are still waiting for it today.
- You feel unequally treated or paid compared to your colleagues.
- The working conditions at your workplace are unacceptable.
- They have to work overtime all the time and do not get paid for it.
- You and your colleagues are interested in forming a works council, but this has been forbidden to you by the employer.
In labour law, things usually have to happen very quickly. Especially in the case of terminations, short deadlines apply and must be strictly adhered to. Especially in such explosive matters, it is advisable to contact a lawyer. With our expertise in the field of labour law, we would like to advise and represent you in a legally friendly manner.
If you see a problem in your employment relationship, or have a conflict at work, don’t be afraid to contact us as your specialist lawyer. Especially in such a complex matter as labour law, it is important to have a specialist at your side. We fight for your rights!
Employment contract law regulates the contractual relationship between the employee and the employer. § Section 1 of the Labour Contract Law Act (AVRAG) stipulates that the AVRAG applies in principle to all employment relationships based on a contract under private law.
The only exceptions are the following employment relationships:
- to countries, municipal associations and municipalities
- of agricultural and forestry workers within the meaning of the Agricultural Labour Act 1984
- to the Confederation, to whom service-law provisions are applicable that regulate the content of employment relationships in a mandatory manner
- to foundations, institutions or funds to which the Contract Staff Act 1948 applies
- for whom the Domestic Helpers and Domestic Workers Act is applicable.
You can also simply have a lawyer clarify whether your employment relationship actually falls under employment contract law.
What provisions of labour law are included in employment contract law?
Work is not always pleasure.
Labour law for employers
In order to briefly give you an excerpt of our advisory work for employers, we would like to list some issues that you may have already encountered in connection with employment law:
- In this way, it is possible that you basically have no problems with your employees, but still seek labour law advice from time to time.
- Or you would like to effectively eliminate small inconveniences before they become big problems.
- Or serious, irreconcilable problems have already arisen with an employee and you would like to make a unilateral declaration of intent, such as a notice of termination or dismissal?
Regardless of whether you have questions about the collective agreement, the respective employment relationship, various options for agreeing on working hours or would like to know more about the so-called competition clause, occupational accidents, holidays or wage and salary payments – as your expert we will advise you competently and in a goal-oriented manner in all matters of labour law. We advise you comprehensively and quickly.
However, legal questions regarding the employment relationship may also arise for a dependent employee, which we will gladly solve for you. Be it that there are problems with colleagues, that your holiday was unjustifiably not approved or that you are not paid your wages.
We competently support you with our knowledge and experience if you need quick advice, want representation in the context of an employment law case or want us to review an existing contract for you – to mention just a few of our strengths.
The problems listed are of course not to be regarded as exhaustive. If you have any questions on other specific topics, please do not hesitate to contact us.
As conscientious lawyers, we would like to provide employers with some basic points. On the one hand, with regard to the employment contract including the law on working hours, and on the other hand, with regard to the procedure and termination of the employment relationship.
The employment contract
Immediately after the start of the employment relationship, you as the employer are obliged to hand over a written record of the employment relationship to the employee if it lasts more than one month (section 2(1) AVRAG). This must specify the essential rights and obligations arising from the employment relationship. Further necessary points that must not be missing from the service slip result from § 2 para 2 AVRAG. In order to comply with the minimum content, to coordinate it with the collective agreement and to avoid mistakes, we will be happy to assist you in drawing up such a contract. Because even if you think at first glance that a model contract from the internet is sufficient, it may often be that it is in fact outdated or unsuitable due to sector-specific regulations.
Checking whether there are reasonable alternatives to the employment contract is always necessary. Thus, it is more cost-effective for you as an employer to conclude a freelance service contract or a contract for work and labour.
Please also note that, on the one hand, you make yourself attractive to potential employees if you pay more than the collective agreement provides for, but on the other hand, this can result in enormous costs for you! In this context, it therefore often makes sense to provide for overpayments, for example, as revocable overtime lump sums.
Provisions on working time can be found in collective agreements, laws, ordinances and employment contracts. Agreements in employment contracts must take into account the requirements of the law as well as the ordinances and the CT.
The “nine-to-five model” is now considered an attractive working time model, with the advantage that it is easy to regulate. However, it is rarely appropriate.
Before you introduce a model, check out the various possibilities and look into flexitime, case-by-case employment, as well as through-billing, among other things, and never disregard mandatory regulations (rest breaks, maximum permissible working hours…). We will be happy to help you find the right model for you.
As an employer, sooner or later you will also be confronted with court proceedings. Particularly in the case of claims for termination or challenges to termination, employees often take the route of the Labour and Social Court.
Here you may have to deal with administrative penal proceedings, for example for employment of foreigners or accusations of having violated the Working Hours Act. In these cases, too, we are at your side as a partner and legal representative.
When giving notice, it is important to observe deadlines and dates, as otherwise the employment relationship may be extended immensely and you will have to pay wages and taxes for longer than necessary. It is also possible that the termination is contested, e.g. because of a so-called “frowned-upon motive for termination”. Don’t only believe that every ending relationship is an amicable solution! This is not a rule of thumb.
Please also note: As an employer, you are generally not obliged to provide specific reasons for certain conduct or measures towards a third person. Therefore, avoid misleading justifications. This will also save you from having to discuss whether there is discrimination.
If you find it necessary to justify your action, we recommend that you consult an expert in labour law.
We are happy to provide you with our expertise in individual and collective labour law. If you have questions about the drafting of a contract, for example because you do not know whether an employment contract or a service contract is a better fit for your company, or if you would like to know about the various options for structuring the working conditions, the termination of the contract or disputes arising from employment law, we will be happy to provide information and help you develop a coherent concept.
We also deal intensively with the drafting of company agreements and coordinate the appropriate working time models for you.
Whether you need help as an employer or as an employee. With our expertise, we will find a solution for you and represent you in a legally friendly manner – both in and out of court and fight for your rights.
Contact us if you have any questions to avoid mistakes in advance.
Checklist Transfer of Business
You can find out what needs to be considered in the event of a transfer of business in our checklist
10 Point Plan Transfer of Business
10 questions that should be asked in any case of a transfer of business can be found in our 10-point plan in the event of a transfer of business.
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