Labour and employment—Germany—Q&A guide

The following Employment practice note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Labour and employment—Germany—Q&A guide
  • 1. What are the main statutes and regulations relating to employment?
  • 2. Is there any law prohibiting discrimination or harassment in employment? If so, what categories are regulated under the law?
  • 3. What are the primary government agencies or other entities responsible for the enforcement of employment statutes and regulations?
  • 4. Is there any legislation mandating or allowing the establishment of employees’ representatives in the workplace?
  • 5. What are their powers?
  • 6. Are there any restrictions or prohibitions against background checks on applicants? Does it make a difference if an employer conducts its own checks or hires a third party?
  • 7. Are there any restrictions or prohibitions against requiring a medical examination as a condition of employment?
  • 8. Are there any restrictions or prohibitions against drug and alcohol testing of applicants?
  • 9. Are there any legal requirements to give preference in hiring to, or not to discriminate against, particular people or groups of people?
  • More...

Labour and employment—Germany—Q&A guide

This Practice Note contains a jurisdiction-specific Q&A guide to labour and employment in Germany published as part of the Lexology Getting the Deal Through series by Law Business Research (published: April 2020).

Authors: Morgan Lewis—Walter Ahrens

1. What are the main statutes and regulations relating to employment?

The main statute on individual employment law is the Civil Code, which forms the basis of all individual employment contracts. Certain details of the employment relationship are governed by separate statutes, for example, by the Part-Time and Fixed-Term Employment Act, the Remuneration Continuation Act (which deals with sick and holiday pay), the Federal Vacation Act, the Working Time Act, the Termination Protection Act and the Company Pension Act. The main non-discrimination statute is the General Equal Treatment Act. Relevant collective employment law statutes are the Collective Bargaining Agreement Act and the Works Constitution Act (regarding works councils and their rights), as well as the Co-Determination Act and the One-Third Representation Act, which both deal with employee co-determination in corporate governance.

2. Is there any law prohibiting discrimination or harassment in employment? If so, what categories are regulated under the law?

The Federal Constitution provides that no one shall be discriminated against or privileged owing to gender, descent, race, language, homeland, origin, religion, political opinion or disability. This provision applies directly or indirectly to all employment relationships. Discrimination in employment

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