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Looking for Job-related Legal Advice

danger here

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 9, 2010
Messages
2,586
To cut a long story short, having a bit of discussion at the moment with the CEO in work over here in Germany, who's a bit on the young side, entrepreneur ect ect. The company is start up, about 2 years old, 40 employees approx. Anyway the company is fully German but we have a UK company registered for trading purposes. Without going into too much detail, the UK Ltd is little more than a desk in a rented office somewhere, literally so we have a UK address for our clients. Everything and everyone related to the UK is based in Germany with German contracts, social security ect

Now we have a couple of Feiertage / public holidays coming up and while I was originally given verbal guarantees that the office would be closed (as is usual in Germany), seems our team will work since we work with UK clients. No problem so far once you follow German law, which is quite clear cut on the matter, in some exceptions listed the employee working on the holiday has to be given a day off within 8 weeks. Now I raised this generally as a point since a few of us have German families and if given the choice would prefer it off as first preference, but not too pushed once the time due is given off at some point.

In short, the CEO who's Kraut said he wasn't aware of such a law (I had to send it to him) and in any case "we will get UK holidays off instead of German ones". Obviously from a legal perspective this is not compatible with German law, and secondly there are far more German holidays / Ruhetage than there are bank holidays in the UK. I'd also argue that a bank holiday does not have the same importance as a German Ruhetag, legally or socially.

Now aside from his views off kilter from the legal reality, he then made the hilarious suggestion that if this cannot be agreed on (since he says it would be strictly implemented) that it would then be a simple issue of offering new contracts from our UK company. Now I can't remember too much about the employment law I did years ago but I'm fairly sure that's borderline criminal. Not to mention tax implications ect of having a contract from one country and paying taxes, social contributions in another. Plus, I'm sure the German state would be delighted to know a company within their jurisdiction is up to this.

Now if it came to that I'd be going straight to the lawyer and Arbeitsgericht to amuse them with the tale of a German company in Germany trying to offer their German-based staff new employment contracts from another country. The whole thing sounds like a handy law suit should push come to shove and personally I wouldn't be taking them up on the offer in any case. I'm the most Germanified in the UK team but there are a couple of folks literally fresh of the boat who don't know any better and would probably go along with it. Also worthwhile to mention I'm not the sort to go running to a union or go on strike generally but this seems to stink.

Has anyone any experience of companies successfully doing this? The only example I can think of is Ryanair getting fined by the EU for illegally trying to avoid French taxes by giving their employees UK contracts.

Thanks in advance for any thoughts.
 


Windowshopper

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 14, 2011
Messages
9,017
What are you doing? Talk to a citizen's advice bureau or whatever the equivalent is in Germany or talk to a trade union rep if you have one or get advice from a government institution which specializes in these matters. Don't solicit legal advice from strangers on the internet.
 

danger here

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 9, 2010
Messages
2,586
What are you doing? Talk to a citizen's advice bureau or whatever the equivalent is in Germany or talk to a trade union rep if you have one or get advice from a government institution which specializes in these matters. Don't solicit legal advice from strangers on the internet.
Of course not, in general I know where I stand legally. My interest on p.ie relates to to legality of offering employment contracts from another country. What's to stop Irish Ferries hiring a load of Latvians... oh wait :rolleyes:
 

drummed

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Joined
Oct 22, 2010
Messages
37,442
What are you doing? Talk to a citizen's advice bureau or whatever the equivalent is in Germany or talk to a trade union rep if you have one or get advice from a government institution which specializes in these matters. Don't solicit legal advice from strangers on the internet.
Not these strangers anyway. He'll end up in jail.
 

blokesbloke

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Joined
Jan 13, 2011
Messages
23,298
The best legal advice I can give to the OP is never to ask for legal advice on an anonymous internet forum.

Those who know what they're talking about aren't going to give you legal advice for free - it's their job and they rightly expect payment for it.

Those who do give you legal advice will be wrong.

I don't know who your employer is but I'd find a new one if I were you if they have asked you to gain legal advice for free. If you're doing this on your own "initiative" then my advice is to keep this idea very quiet and never admit it to your employer.

If you have already admitted this idea to your employer, then start the jobsearch now.
 

danger here

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 9, 2010
Messages
2,586
The best legal advice I can give to the OP is never to ask for legal advice on an anonymous internet forum.

Those who know what they're talking about aren't going to give you legal advice for free - it's their job and they rightly expect payment for it.

Those who do give you legal advice will be wrong.

I don't know who your employer is but I'd find a new one if I were you if they have asked you to gain legal advice for free. If you're doing this on your own "initiative" then my advice is to keep this idea very quiet and never admit it to your employer.

If you have already admitted this idea to your employer, then start the jobsearch now.
Just to be clear BB, I'm just doing this from by own initiative, nobody advised me to seek legal advise. And indeed if I needed formal legal advise I know where to go. It's more that I'm now curious what the situation would be if say Intel decided to set up a company in Albania and hire new employees / with Albanian employment contracts while employing them in Ireland.

For obvious reasons I don't want to call the CEO's bluff (and in any case something so basic as following the correct German law should never end up with threats of reissuing contracts from other countries) but I'm more interested in reasons why it's wrong.

In the worst case I'd be going swiftly to a lawyer for simple breach of contract, since I've a German perm contract end of. The only area I have to be careful is that until early August I'm in my Probezeit, which is a licence for either side to end the contract freely. Unfortunately for the firm, I'm carrying the project in terms of KPIs ect :) Just to be clear I'm not in a conflict in any way at the moment, it's just that one might quickly arise should the flippant threat of re-issuing contracts from another country being attempted.

Thanks for replies and I take on board about not getting legal advice online, I would argue that it may not always be wrong however :)
 

SayItAintSo

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 30, 2011
Messages
11,349
The best legal advice I can give to the OP is never to ask for legal advice on an anonymous internet forum.

Those who know what they're talking about aren't going to give you legal advice for free - it's their job and they rightly expect payment for it.

Those who do give you legal advice will be wrong.

I don't know who your employer is but I'd find a new one if I were you if they have asked you to gain legal advice for free. If you're doing this on your own "initiative" then my advice is to keep this idea very quiet and never admit it to your employer.

If you have already admitted this idea to your employer, then start the jobsearch now.
Hello there, hope your studies are progressing satisfactorily ☺ Thought when I saw you had posted, that you had started dispensing legal advice already ☺
 


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