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New Ius Laboris brochure – European Labour Reforms 2015

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European Labour Reforms

Ius Laboris, the Alliance of Global HR lawyers, has recently created a new brochure which will update HR professionals and employment lawyers across Europe regarding ongoing legislative developments. In their own words:

Many European countries introduced reforms intended to make labour markets more flexible and to encourage longer working. This publication offers an overview of these labour reforms across 17 European countries.

Kliemt & Vollstädt contributed the German perspective on past and ongoing reforms:

Changes in the state retirement age
  • Since 1 July 2014, individuals who have been paying into the employees ́ state pension fund for 45 years may retire at the age of 63 without any pension deductions.
  • Since 2012, the ordinary retirement age for those born after 31 December 1952 will increase gradually from the current age of 65 to the age of 67 by 2029, based on legislative changes made in 2007.
  • The law now helps those who have reached the retirement age to continuing working. The termination date of an employment agreement may now be postponed several times, enabling older employees to continue working after they have reached the ordinary retirement age of 65 (rising to 67).
National minimum wage
  • Since 1 January 2015, a national minimum wage of EUR 8.50 per hour has been in force. Exemptionsapply for collective agreements and there are certain exceptions for employees under 18 and for some apprentices and trainees, but generally speaking, the national minimum wage is applicable across the board. There is one notable exception for long-time unemployed people, who cannot claim the minimum wage during the first six months of their re-employment.
  • Any collective agreements that provide for a lower minimum wage will be phased out by 31 December 2017 at the latest.
Other measures
  • Parental Leave: Since 1 January a new amendment to the law means that parents of a newborn child are entitled to take parental leave more flexibly. This should encourage parents to continue to work part time and also take parental leave part time. Up to 24 months of the three-year period of parental leave can be taken between the child’s third and eighth birthday.
  • Family care leave: Employees were already entitled to up to ten days of unpaid ‘care leave’ from the workplace. Now they are entitled to a state benefit replacing wages to enable them to take care of close relatives in an emergency.
  • Act on Conflict of Labour Union Agreements: Since 10 July 2015, the Act on Tariff Unity has been in force. In cases where several unions have negotiated several collective agreements with the same employer, the agreement made with the union with the largest number of members within one entity or workplace applies.
  • Gender quota for board members: From 2016, women must hold 30 percent of the corporate non-executive (supervisory) board positions in public companies with at least 2,000 employees.

For more news on ius laboris and Kliemt & Vollstädt’s activities within the Alliance, watch as well as this blog.

Ius Laboris

Ius Laboris is a leading international employment law practice combining the world’s leading employment, labour and pension firms. Our role lies in sharing insights and helping clients to navigate the world of labour and employment law successfully.
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