Find Lawyers in Frankfurt/Main, Germany for Labor and Employment Law

Practice Area Overview

Labor and employment relationships are of great significance in any economy. In Germany, these relations are governed by a complex structure of statues and regulations on national and international level as well as by a very dynamic case law. As several mandatory employee protection rights have their origin in European law not only the precedents of the national labor courts but also the rulings of the European Court of Justice influence German labor and employment law significantly. As a result it is safe to say that labor and employment law is one of the most dynamic fields of law in Germany.

As labor and employment lawyers we do not only deal with the relations between employees and employers (individual employment law) but also between works councils and trade unions and employers and employers' associations (collective employment law). Further in M&A transactions the advice of an employment lawyer is sought by companies, employees, and works councils. Social security law and data protection law also influence employment relations.

The advice an employment lawyer offers in individual employment will include the drafting or revision of employment contracts, advise any issues arising during the employment relationship such as disciplinary issues, maternity and parental rights, working time and minimum wages issues, compliance investigations, etc. An important area of individual employment law will deal with the issues arising when an employment relationship is terminated. This will include the preparation of a notice of termination as well as the representation of employers and employees in law suits in termination protection proceedings in front of a labor court. More and more employment lawyers are asked to advise on discrimination issues which may occur when hiring or promoting an employee and can render a notice unlawful even if the employment relationship does not fall within the scope of the termination protection act.

A labor and employment lawyer will also help navigate through the complex system of collective labor law. Trade unions and employers' associations negotiate rules that apply on an industry wide, regional level or for specific groups of employees (e.g. pilots, train drivers, etc.). Works council have extensive co-determination rights and again will negotiate with the employer specific rules for the plant or company in which they represent the employees. Conflicts arising between employers and works councils will be dealt with in a specific dispute resolution process and under certain circumstances in court. Both during the formal dispute resolution process as well as in court both parties will often rely on the advice of their employment lawyer.

In case of restructuring measures, a labor and employment lawyer will advise the employer and works council on the requirement to negotiate a compromise of interests agreement and a social plan and be at their side during the negotiation process.

When companies and businesses are sold, both the works councils' rights to be informed and consulted with as well as the protection of the acquired rights of individual employees will have to be looked at from a legal perspective.

Labor and employment law is a highly specialized and dynamic area of law. A lawyer active in this field of law will have to consider not only the legal aspects of the client’s issues but also the practical and often emotional issues the client is faced with.

Dr. Barbara Geck Bird & Bird

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Related Practice Areas: Employee Benefits Law, Tax Law
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