Employee strategy for fixed-term contracts | Dipl.-Jur. Jens Usebach LL.M Lawyer specializing in protection against dismissal and labor law

The legislature has set high hurdles for employers, which make it very difficult for the employer to agree on an effective fixed term with an employee, which is then actually effective.

The result is that many fixed-term agreements between employees and employers are ineffective in labor law.

What is the consequence of an ineffective time limit?

If the time limit is ineffective, the rest of the employment contract remains effective.

The employer can simply not invoke the fixed term with the employee and must accept the employment relationship as being of unlimited duration against him.

If employees have doubts as to whether the fixed-term agreement from the employment contract is effective, they should in any case seek advice from a lawyer and obtain certainty about this question.

If the time limit is ineffective and if the employee is keen to continue the employment relationship, the employee should first seek an interview with the employer.

If the employer is interested in the employee and their workforce, it is very likely that they will offer the unlimited continuation of the employment relationship or at least the conclusion of a further fixed-term employment contract.

The question of what to do with the ineffective fixed term usually only arises if the employer does not want to continue the employment relationship or if the employer only offers another fixed-term employment contract.

In this case, the employer will not be convinced by the employee that the agreed time limit is invalid.

So if the employer does not give in and the employment relationship does not continue for an indefinite period, the employee must Have the ineffectiveness of the time limit clarified before the labor court with an action for an extension of the time limit.

target such an action for an indefinite period is either to fight for the indefinite continuation of the employment relationship or, if the employee is actually not interested in continuing the employment relationship, to induce the employer to give the employee a severance pay to pay.

The employer will be prepared to pay a severance payment, as this will avoid having to continue the employment relationship beyond the end of the fixed term.

It is important for workers to know that in order to bring such a lawsuit one Adhere to the deadline is.

The period of action is three weeks.

The term begins with the end of the term.

This means that employees work within three weeks of the agreed end of the fixed-term employment contract and have to bring an action to the labor court.

If the three-week period is missed, the employment contract is deemed to be validly limited in time.

Employees then have neither the opportunity to sue for continuation of the employment relationship nor to obtain a severance payment because they can no longer refer to the ineffectiveness of the fixed term.

Employees are not required to file the complaint with the labor court after the time limit has expired.

Employees can already sue if the employer takes the view in the current employment contract that the employment relationship ends on the agreed fixed date due to the agreed time limit.

The labor court recognizes that employees have a need for legal protection for an action for an unlimited period if the employer denies the existence of an open-ended employment relationship.

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