Every player interested or already active in the German market needs to have a working knowledge of the key principles of German employment law which offers a good level of protection to employees.
This is especially true for U.S.-based multinationals not fully familiar with the concepts of co-determination and dismissal protection, both key elements of German employment law and widespread in the EU.
Our 101 on Employment Law in Germany gives a high level overview of key practical issues employers face and should be aware of in order to minimize exposure. While our Employer's Essentials sets out certain key principles all employers should be aware of, our Legal Q&A two pagers will have a closer look and answer the most common questions employers have on specific topics, such as using fixed-term contracts, termination of employment, employee representation, non-compete clauses or contractors.
If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to André Zimmermann, head of our German employment law practice, or your usual contact at Orrick.
Incorrectly classifying an employee as a contractor can have considerable effects on the company – from retroactive liability for taxes and social security contributions to reputation damage and even criminal liability of the company's managing directors in certain cases. It is therefore crucial to know the main criteria for determining them correctly, which are covered in this Legal Q&A two pager.
Employees and employers often meet again in court, especially when it comes to the termination of their employment relationship. The German labor court procedure has several particularities that must be observed by the employer when having a legal dispute. This Q&A two pager gives an overview of what you need to know.
Employers in Germany should not underestimate the meaning of reference letters since there are clear guidelines as to when and how they must issue a reference letter. Every employee in Germany is entitled to a reference letter. But employers do not only need to know the specifics on how to write reference letters but- equally important - how to analyze reference letters of candidates in the hiring process.