Employment Law Newsletter II/2014

The Act Improving State Pension Insurance Benefits [Gesetz über Leistungsverbesserungen in der gesetzlichen Rentenversicherung], which enables a deduction-free pension upon reaching the age of 63 after 45 years of contributions is entering into force on 1 July 2014. This year’s second issue of our Newsletter covers this topic as well as the latest court decisions which will directly affect the structuring of employment conditions and will have to be borne in mind when structuring contracts in the future.
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Newsflash: State aid measures for research, development and innovation - EU Commission adopts new framework to facilitate state aid measures for research, development and innovation

On 21 May 2014, the EU Commission has adopted new rules for state aid measures to support research, development and innovation activities. Besides the new R&D state aid Framework, the new General Block Exemption Regulation (GBER) was released widening the scope of measures that are exempted from prior notification to the Commission. Both set of rules will enter into force 1 July 2014. Being embedded in both the EU state aid modernization initiative and the Europe 2020 Strategy, the new rules seek to insure that state aid measures to support R&D activities can be granted easier, quicker and more effective. Equally, they aim to increase legal certainty and to provide guidance with regard to the application of state aid rules. read more >>>

Newsletter ITC & Data Protection

Our current Newsletter informs you, amongst other things, about the ECJ’s Google judgment and its effects upon the geographical scope of application of the Data Protection Directive. According to the judgement, all non-EU enterprises which process data about European citizens will now have to carefully check whether or not they fall under the Data Protection Directive on grounds of their distribution activities within the EU. You can read more about this topic and further current decisions here. read more >>>

Newsletter ITC & Data Protection

The revision of European data protection law, being negotiated since two years, has been delayed another time to after the elections to the European Parliament in May. But other issues and developments in IT and data protection law are also quite important for enterprises and we have summarised them for you in this newsletter. read more >>>

Newsletter Employment Law I/2014

Case law is continually providing new impulses for day-to-day personnel management, be this regarding protection against unfair dismissal or cooperation with the works council. In addition, the discussion on regulations for temporary workers and contracts for works and services is also already in full swing outside the Bundestag, as can be seen from an opinion that has been presented by the North-Rhine Westphalian Regional Government. read more >>>

Newsletter Employment Law, IV/2013: Temporary employment, Christmas bonus and more.

Through the Coalition Agreement, which was recently confirmed by the members of the SPD, we can expect employment law to be enhanced by important legislative impulses next year. The principle of collective bargaining unity could experience a “comeback” through legislative anchoring. read more >>>

Employment Law Newsflash on the Coalition Agreement - contracts for works and services, minimum wage, employee data protection and others

After weeks of negotiations, the CDU, CSU and SPD have agreed on a Coalition Agreement. As already became evident during the election campaign, employment law will occupy a prominent position in the coming legislative period. read more >>>

Newsflash: IRAN Sanctions

In the negotiations concluded last Sunday with Iran concerning its nuclear programme, noteworthy progress and results have been achieved. Of particular interest to the industrial sector is the agreed relaxation of the regime of sanctions. read more >>>

Newsletter Labour Law, III/2013

Also marked by the election campaign of the last few weeks, the key phrases”contracts for works and services”and “illegal temporary employment” have been in the public focus. The consequences of impermissible illegal temporary employment are clear, with the result that the tasks of the enterprises in these areas are currently not only keeping their personnel and legal departments busy, but also their compliance officers. read more >>>

Newsletter Employment Law, II/2013

In the second issue of this year’s Employment Law Newsletter you will find out why there may be a need for action in the case of some reference clauses, whether candidates for the election committee in a works council election can claim special protection against dismissal and what the amendments of the revised law on the employment of foreign nationals as per 1 July 2013 entail. read more >>>

Newsletter Antitrust Law: Comprompise on 8th amendment of German Act against Restraints of Competition

The German mediation committee, comprising the Bundestag [German Parliament] and the Bundesrat [Federal Council], agreed on a compromise of the 8th amendment of the German Act against Restraints of Competition (GWB) on 5 June 2013. The Bundestag and Bundesrat now have to approve the compromise. Modifications will affect the following topics inter alia: merger control, fines proceedings and proceedings for antitrust law violations, the control of abusive practices and the establishment of market transparency units. read more >>>

Newsletter Labour Law, I/2013

At the outset of the year 2013 employment law is in motion. Collective bargaining conflicts in the security sector and at Lufthansa have put industrial conflict law back into the focus of the employment law debate. The ever popular topic of temporary employment has again been the central issue of several important decisions in the first quarter of 2013. read more >>>

Newsletter Tax: Limitation of Participation Exemption - Potential Tax Refund Claim for Foreign Shareholders

Germany’s second legislative chamber, the Bundesrat, has today approved the compromise issued by the joint committee of both houses, under which dividends paid to corporations will in future be fully taxable, if the recipient corporation holds less than 10% of the shares in the paying entity. read more >>>

Newsletter Tax: Simplifications to German Group Taxation Rules are published

Today, amendments to the rules on German Group Taxation have been published in the German Federal Gazette. They mainly focus on relaxing rules on profit transfers, but at the same time increase the red tape with respect to the wording of the profit-and-loss-pooling agreement necessary to conclude a tax group. read more >>>

Newsletter Data Protection Regulation

In December we reported on the EU Commission’s unofficial draft of the reform of the European Data Protection Directive 95/46/EU. On 25 January 2012 the Commission’s official proposal for the Regulation was presented.  We have analysed this 119-page draft and have summarised its main aspects in this Newsletter. read more >>>

Newsletter Labour Law, I/2012

Labour law developments over the first quarter of 2012: Current case law, Invalidity of scaling of holiday claims according to age under the Collective Agreement for the Public Service [Tarifvertrag für den öffentlichen Dienst, TVöD] read more >>>

Newsflash Export Control Law, June 2012

No excessive fulfilment of Regulation: Despite Iran embargo, banks may not simply terminate accounts read more >>>

Newsletter Labour Law, II/2012

At the end of the first half of 2012, the balance of developments in employment law has turned out to be divided. read more >>>

Newsletter Antitrust Law: Caution required when exchanging confidential information

On 1 August 2012 the Federal Cartel Office (“FCO”) [Bundeskartellamt, BKA] fined the confectioner Haribo and its responsible sales staff a sum of ca. € 2.4 million for impermissibly exchanging sensitive competitive information. The Federal Cartel Office therewith confirmed its course of action of punishing with high fines unfair competitive conduct which “only” concerns the exchange of information as opposed to the classical hard-core agreements on prices, territories, customers or quotas. read more >>>

Newsletter Export Control: German Federal Government adopts amendment of the Foreign Trade Act [Außenwirtschaftsgesetz, AWG]

On 15 August 2012 the German Federal Government adopted the draft bill to modernise foreign trade law. Amongst other things, significant amendments are being made to the criminal law provisions and to the regulation of fines; it is a part of the modernisation of foreign trade law stipulated in the Coalition Agreement. Closely linked to the amendment of the Foreign Trade Act is the revision of the Foreign Trade Ordinance [Außenwirtschafts-verordnung, AWV] which, for procedural reasons, is not the subject of the cabinet decision. The new AWV will, however, enter into force around the same time as the new AWG. read more >>>

Newsletter Tax: German Cabinet proposes simplifications to tax grouping rules and to raise the maximum amount for losses carried back

In order to improve the business location Germany, the German Cabinet on 19 September 2012 has proposed an Act to change and simplify the company taxation and the tax law regarding travel expenses. The Act will primarily simplify the rules regarding the fiscal unity for tax purposes. read more >>>

Newsletter Employment Law, III 2012

In the 3rd quarter of 2012 the labour courts of first and second instance passed a multitude of decisions regulating issues that were still unresolved at the practical level. One of these decisions is that of the Regional Court [Landesarbeitsgericht, LAG] of Hamm described below on the use of chat protocols during unfair dismissal proceedings. The Federal Labour Court [Bundesarbeitsgericht, BAG], in contrast, has had to decide on “evergreens” such as the settlement of holiday claims in the event of an employee’s long-term illness or the agreement of fixed remuneration. read more >>>

Newsletter Antitrust Law: No avoidance of liability by verbal agreements

Lately, more and more violations of the ban on vertical price fixing have been prosecuted by the German Federal Cartel Office (FCO). As a recent case from August 2012 shows, the existence of a price maintenance system violating antitrust law can be proven even without any documentary evidence, so that a fine can be imposed on the company retaining the system. read more >>>

2012: The most important decisions

In terms of the labor law, the year ending soon was certainly characterized by the discussion about the Employee Data Protection Act.  Case law has also set certain points only. We have outlined the key decisions rendered in the last months of 2012 for you - and give an overview of the changes as of 1 January 2013 which will be relevant to HR. read more >>>