This article aims to analyze the individual guarantees which German labour law provides for employees.
It has already been said that German labor law contains several saveguards for employees, seen as “weak subjects„ within the bilateral relationship.
The first guarantee is represented by working hours.
The expression "working time" means the period of time in which the employee makes his labor at disposal to the employer.
Working hours must not exceed the maximum limit of 8 hours per day. The working time can be extended up to a maximum of 10 hours, in the event that, on average, within six months, the eight hours of daily work have not been exceeded.
For Sundays and public holidays the right to rest applies.
Breaks from work and time to get to and from work are not considered "working hours".
Another guarantee consists of holidays.
Workers are entitled to a period of paid annual leave for a minimum of 24 working days, which is equivalent to four weeks of leave per year, since Saturdays are considered as working days. The right to leave is up from six months after the start of the employment relationship. For an employment relationship of less than six months, you are entitled to a number of holidays proportional to the period of work (two working days per month).
Holidays are governed by the employment contract. For employment relationships governed by a collective agreement, the number of vacation days is usually higher than the minimum required by law.
Finally, it is interesting to remember that, under German law, days of sickness during holidays, certified by a medical certificate, are not calculated as holidays.
The salary guarantee also deserves some consideration.
As already mentioned, the minimum wage in Germany is governed by the Minimum Wage Act (it is the MiLoG - MindestLohngesetz). This provision applies to German and foreign workers, without any distinction.
If the worker receives a salary which is lower than the minimum, he has the right to take legal action, within the term established by law or by the collective labour contract.
The minimum wage is revalued annually, based on several criteria.
Currently it is equal to 9.36 euro / hour actually worked.
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Note: Information provided in this Knowledge Database is for orientation only and not binding.