Frontline Germany Employment Law Update Edition 1 2020

Welcome to the sixth edition of Frontline Germany, a quarterly newsletter prepared by our team of employment law experts in Germany. Each edition will provide you with a round-up of the most recent legal developments, upcoming changes, and practical tips to help you stay out of HR-hot water.

This edition features:

- changes in Germany employment and immigration law in 2020;
- details on German Federal Labour Court confirmation that employers may claim repayment in cases of false self employment declarations by freelancers
- details on a Munich regional labour court decision on crowdworkers and their employment status
- a look at how Managing Directors may be considered as employees within the German General Equal Treatment Act ("AGG").

Changes in German Employment and Immigration Law in 2020

A look at a number of changes, including on minimum wage increases; new social contribution thresholds; new salary threshold for Blue Card Applications; the Immigration of Experts Act comes into force; Data Protection officer changes; amendments to the Working Time Act in terms of the obligation to document working time; and information on the digital certificate of incapacity for work. 

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Employers may claim repayment in cases of false self-employment

A freelancer will usually receive a higher amount of compensation compared to an employee carrying out the same tasks. The German Federal Labour Court has now confirmed an employer's claim for repayment of such overpaid amounts, where a supposed freelancer relationship ultimately turned out to be an employment relationship.

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Crowdworkers are not employees: the Munich regional labor court and the industry 4.0

In its decision of 4 December 2019, the Munich regional labor court decided that crowdworkers are not employees. At least not if, as in the case at hand, they have the option to decline orders and do not have the obligation to follow instructions.

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Managing directors may be considered employees within the meaning of the German General Equal Treatment Act ("AGG")

Non-shareholding managing directors may not be discriminated against on grounds of age or any other grounds under section 1 of the German General Equal Treatment Act (AGG).

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