Germany – Issuing notice of dismissal to substitute works council members - beware of the pitfalls

In Germany, when a substitute works council member is appointed to a works council to cover a regular member’s absence, the substitute member benefits from the additional protection against dismissal works council members enjoy. This article outlines the issues for employers to be aware of in considering terminating the employment of a substitute works council member. To ensure the continued functioning of the works council,…

France - The ‘Macron scale’ challenged in labour tribunals’ rulings

Giving employers a better view of the costs they must bear in the event of an unfair dismissal was the main argument of the French government when a scale was implemented by one of the so-called Macron orders dated 22 September 2017 (N°2017-1387). This scale, setting up minimum and maximum damages awards, should ultimately have a positive impact on employment, especially in small and medium-sized…

Belgium: Draft no-deal Brexit legislation

A draft Brexit Act has been submitted to Parliament to cover the worst short-term consequences of a no-deal Brexit. The Act would only enter into force if the UK leaves the EU without a deal and provided the UK reciprocates. It provides for a transitional period until 31 December 2020 during which: The residence rights of UK citizens residing in Belgium (electronic E(+) card) or…

Germany: Premium for overtime for part-time employees - less is more?

The German Federal Labour Court has clarified how premiums for overtime for part-time workers should be calculated to avoid discrimination, overruling its previous case law.  Two lawyers, three opinions? Legal disputes in labour law in Germany generally end with a clarifying decision by the Federal Labour Court. This is not the case with the question of when enhanced rates of overtime pay should also be…

UK: No deal #Brexit and data protection

This article discusses the impact of a no deal Brexit on data protection issues for businesses transferring data to or from the UK and how they should prepare for this possibility. With the Brexit D-day of 29 March looming, organisations have asked us to help prepare a Brexit Data Response Plan in case of a potential no deal Brexit. Building on the UK Information Commissioner’s…

UK: #Brexit – The final countdown (maybe) …

The UK is leaving the EU in two and a half weeks’ time, at the time of writing. Or maybe it isn’t. Your guess is as good as ours.  As Parliament prepares for its fateful votes on whether to say yes to May’s deal, with or without some revisions to the Irish backstop, and, if it says no, whether to crash out with no deal…

UK: #Brexit - How to handle the EWC

The final form of Brexit remains uncertain, as does its impact on European Works Councils (‘EWCs’) that are governed by UK law. In this article, we provide an update on the state of play as we enter March 2019, building on our earlier article. We then discuss what course of action businesses should take as we approach the projected date for the UK’s departure from the…

Czech Republic: Audio recordings and threatening the employer

The Czech Supreme Court has held that an employer‘s covert recordings of a conversation with an employee could be used in civil court proceedings in limited circumstances. This article sets out the details of the decision, which also covers whether a threat to take an employer to court over termination can justify immediate dismissal. In a recent ruling (File No. 21 Cdo 1267/2018), the Czech…

Denmark: What’s new in employment law in 2019

The new Holiday Act, #MeToo and GDPR fines are expected to be hot topics in the field of employment law in 2019. In addition, a new Stock Options Act came into effect on 1 January and the Supreme Court will deliver its judgment in a case concerning dismissal of an employee with a ‘reduced-hours job’, more specifically on the question of whether it is fair…

Germany - Introduction of a third gender and practical consequences for employers

From 22 December 2018, a third gender, described as ‘diverse’ has been created for civil status purposes in Germany. This article seeks to raise awareness of the issue for employers, sets out some follow-up daily labour law practice questions on the issue and gives suggestions on how employers should ensure they comply with the law in the future. In 2017, the Federal Constitutional Court (Bundesverfassungsgericht -BVerfG) instructed the German legislator (BVerfG of 10.10.2017 – 1 BvR 2019/16) to put an end to the infringements of the general ‘right…