What Will Change as a Result of Germany’s New Verification Act

By Anne Nolde © Arnecke Sibeth Dabelstein September 29, 2022
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Berlin

​The transposition of a European Union directive into German law leads to a need for action for employers. The Verification Act (aptly called the "Paper Act" by the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung) means that future employment contracts will have to be drafted differently than before—in any case, written information on work conditions must be provided by the employer. According to the new version of the law, violations of this obligation constitute an administrative offense and can result in a fine of up to 2,000 euros—approximately $1,994—per violation. In the future, the employer must additionally provide the following information:

  • End of fixed term.
  • Duration of probationary period, if agreed.
  • Place of work and indication if freely selectable.
  • Possibility of and conditions for ordering overtime.
  • Remuneration for overtime.
  • Amount of remuneration, separate information on remuneration components (for example, bonuses, overtime, allowances and premiums) as well as type of payment (regular transfer).
  • Agreed rest breaks and rest periods, shift system, shift rhythm and conditions for shift changes.
  • Work on call (work performance according to the workload; number of hours to be paid as a minimum; time frame of performance of work/work days/hours; notification period on the location of work time).
  • Any training provided by the employer.
  • Name and address of the pension provider (if occupational pension scheme exists).
  • The procedure to be followed by employer and employee when terminating the employment relationship, at least the written form requirement for the termination and the time limits for terminating the employment relationship, as well as the time limit for filing an action for protection against dismissal.
  • A general reference to the collective agreements, works or service agreements applicable to the employment relationship and regulations of commissions with equal representation that determine work conditions for the area of church employers on the basis of church law.

It is probably most practical to adapt the model employment contracts from the outset. Here is what this means in practice for new contracts and so-called old contracts.

New Contracts

Contracts that come into effect on or after Aug. 1 should contain the above-mentioned points—if relevant—directly.

Alternatively, an information sheet should be attached containing the required information.

Old Contracts

Old contracts only have to be adapted at the request of the employee or the requested information has to be provided.

Nonetheless, a very short time limit applies here: Employers must provide the employee with sufficient information on certain work conditions upon request within one week.

It is therefore advisable to have a mechanism by which the information can be provided quickly and easily.

Conclusion

The law is a step backwards that does not fit into the increasingly modern world of work. For employers, it means more paper and new rules that have to be observed. 

Anne Nolde is an attorney with Arnecke Sibeth Dabelstein, a member firm of Meritas®, in Frankfurt, Germany. © 2022 Arnecke Sibeth Dabelstein. All rights reserved. Reposted with permission of Lexology.

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