Amendment to employment law forces employers to act
The Act on Proof of the Existence of an Employment Relationship obliges employers in Germany to record and hand over essential terms of an employment contract. As of August 1, 2022, this law has now been comprehensively amended. Employers should now adapt the employment contracts they use.
This law stipulates that the essential terms of the contract must be recorded in writing before the employment relationship begins and handed over to the employee.
The following information must be included in the employment contract
Now, when new employment contracts are concluded, the following information, among others, must be included in the employment contract on a mandatory basis:
- Name and address of employer and employee
- Date of commencement of the employment relationship
- Place of work or, if the employee is not to work only at one particular place of work, a reference to the fact that the employee may be employed at different places or may freely choose his place of work
- Brief characterization or description of the work to be performed by the employee
- Agreed working hours, agreed rest breaks and rest periods and, in the case of agreed shift work, the shift system, the shift rhythm and the conditions for shift changes
- Any entitlement to training provided by the employer
- The procedure to be followed by the employer and the employee when terminating the employment relationship, at least a reference to the written form requirement and the deadlines for terminating the employment relationship, as well as the deadline for bringing an action for protection against dismissal; Section 7 of the German Dismissal Protection Act shall also apply if the deadline for bringing an action for protection against dismissal is not duly documented
This list is not exhaustive. In particular, the reference to the procedure to be followed in the event of termination is new.
Employees can set seven-day deadline
For employment contracts already concluded before August 1, 2022, employees may now demand that the employer, upon request, set out the essential terms of the contract in writing within seven days and hand it over to them.
What is new in particular is that the amended Act on Proof of the Existence of an Employment Relationship provides for a fine of up to EUR 2,000 in the event of non-compliance if the required material contractual terms have not been handed over to the employee in writing.
We advise employers in Germany to review the employment contracts they use and – if necessary – have them amended. Our experienced employment law attorneys will be happy to assist you in this regard.
Important contents in a German employment contract