Usually, worldwide corporations are stunned that beneath German legislation sure employment legislation paperwork must be wet-ink signed (handwritten) as a way to be enforceable. Failure to adjust to this requirement could have important penalties – a dismissal discover, for instance, which has not been wet-ink signed is invalid and doesn’t terminate an employment relationship. Different examples for paperwork which require wet-ink signatures to be enforceable are mounted time period employment contracts and / or post-contractual non-competition agreements.
Technically, the identical applies to common employment contracts as effectively. Beneath the German Verification Act (Nachweisgesetz), the employer is obligated to supply the worker with a wet-ink signed doc that features the primary phrases of employment. Though some authorized commentaries take the view that non-compliance with this requirement could expose corporations to break claims, there is no such thing as a proof that this has ever grow to be related. In apply, there is no such thing as a treatment if corporations don’t present a wet-ink signed doc with the primary phrases of employment. A number of corporations, particularly worldwide corporations, have applied processes the place common employment contracts are signed electronically solely.
It looks as if these corporations are in for a giant shock: A draft invoice has been revealed (https://dserver.bundestag.de/btd/20/016/2001636.pdf) that goals at implementing EU Directive EU/2019/1152 . Essentially the most important change is that the draft invoice now stipulates that failure to adjust to the duty to supply a wet-ink signed doc with the primary phrases of employment constitutes an administrative offence, punishable with fines of as much as EUR 2,000 per case. Based mostly on the present draft, this might not apply retroactively.
This appears weird in occasions the place everybody tries to keep away from utilizing paper and goes digital as an alternative. Nevertheless, it’s, after all, a big change to the present legislation and would require corporations to evaluate and, fairly presumably, change their processes. Since there’ll probably be audits, corporations might want to retailer the wet-ink signed paperwork so as to have the ability to show to the authorities that they’ve complied with their obligation. This will probably be troublesome for corporations who solely have satellite tv for pc workplaces in Germany.
Along with the introduction of fines, the draft supplies that employers in Germany will – if the invoice passes the legislative procedures – have handy staff the primary circumstances of the employment (contracting get together, wage and dealing time) in writing (digital kind doesn’t suffice!) on the primary day of employment the newest; a written doc together with the next circumstances must be handed to staff inside seven days from graduation of employment: Begin Date, restricted time period (if any), Place of Work, sort of actions, probationary interval. A whole employment contract together with all related data needs to be handed to the worker in writing inside one month from graduation of employment the newest.
It isn’t clear if and when this new legislation will come into impact. EU Directive EU/2019/1152 must be applied by 31 July 2022, however it could not be the primary time that Germany doesn’t implement EU Directives in time.