ZL Aktuell Employement and Labour April 04/2020


  • New exceptions in working time law
  • New occupational safety standards
  • Working in the home office | Checklist
  • Increase in short-time work compen-sation | FAQ Short-time work
  • Collective agreement COVID in the public sector
  • Webinar: ZL Employer Breakfast

The COVID 19 pandemic continues to have a significant impact on the working day. For this reason, legislators and administrations feel compelled to change and supplement the relevant labour law requirements at very short intervals. In the following, we summarize the current legal developments and their practical effects for you.

On our homepage (https://zl-legal.de/corona/) we keep you informed about all current and practicerelevant developments and changes, not only in the field of labour law.

We wish you and your family all the best. Stay healthy.

New exceptions in working time law

As a result of the COVID 19 pandemic, the Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs issued a Working Hours Ordinance on 7 April 2020, which – initially limited until 31 July 2020 – enables, among other things, an increase in the maximum daily working hours, a reduction in rest breaks and exceptional employment on Sundays and public holidays for employees in system­relevant areas.


The Regulation contains legally binding provisions for the systemically important areas identified therein. The employer must ensure compliance with these requirements when employing employees. Violations are punishable by fines or penalties. The codetermination rights of the works council and staff council must be observed.

New occupational safety standards

On 16 April 2020, the Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs also published concrete and uniform occupational health and safety standards tailored to the COVID 19 pandemic.

These protection standards are not directly legally binding. Nevertheless, incorrect or omitted implementation implies a culpable violation of the health protection of employees, the protection of which is already the responsibility of the employer under §§ 3 to 5 of the Occupational Health and Safety Act. There is a risk of liability for damages and possibly even fines and penalties.


Employers must consider the uniform occupational health and safety standards as part of their duty of care for employees and the risk assessment of workplaces and implement them together with occupational safety experts, the company physician and the company interest representatives.

Working in the home office | Checklist

Due to the outbreak of the COVID 19 pandemic, there was often a short-term switch to working from the home office. Since the control over data protection, know-how and secrecy, as well as the occupational safety and the protection of IT must also be guaranteed in the home office, the framework conditions for employment in the home office should be regulated – as far as this has not yet been done.


Against the background of the current situation and in order to avoid financial damages, existing regulations should be reviewed and adapted if necessary. The works council must be involved in the design of home office regulations.

Keep the overview – with our Home Office checklist.

Increase in short-time work compensation | FAQ Short-time work

On 22 April 2020, the coalition partners agreed, among other things, on a gradual increase in short-time work compensation to up to 80% and 87% of the lump-sum net remuneration. The increase is limited until 31 December 2020.

Despite the relaxation of restrictions on public (economic) life that has already taken place in individual cases, companies in many cases continue to rely on short-time working. We have compiled an overview of the applicable regulations as FAQ.


The correct notification of cyclically induced loss of working hours and the correct application are central to the successful granting of short-time work benefits. If you have not yet done so, we will be happy to support you in this regard at any time. Please contact us.

Collective agreement COVID in the public sector

The public sector collective bargaining partners agreed on the conclusion of a collective agreement to regulate short-time work (TV COVID). The background to this is the safeguarding and facilitation of short-time work in public service institutions, such as theatres, museums, cultural and sports facilities or schools.

If the conditions for the introduction of short-time working are met, working hours can be reduced to as few as zero for up to nine months.

Employees up to and including EG 10 receive 95% of their previous net remu-neration, taking into account the short-time working allowance. From EG 11 onwards, the compensation is reduced to a total of 90% of the previous net remuneration.

In addition, an agreement was reached to exclude dismissals for operational reasons for the period of short-time work and for a further three months thereafter.

The collective agreement came into force on 01 April 2020 and is valid until 31 December 2020.

Webinar: ZL Employer Breakfast

Thursday, 14 May 2020, 9 a.m.

Early and up to date – in this spirit we would like to start the day with you and invite you to our virtual employer breakfast.

Our speakers will bring you up to date on the current state of developments in employment law, including these topics, in approx. 75 minutes with their keynote speeches:

  • Short-time work in everyday oper-ations
  • Update on holiday calculation in “normal operation” and in short-time working
  • Overview of the changes in the law that have come into force since 01 January 2020 (in particular the Im­migration of Skilled Workers Act, electronic AU, introduction of text form as a response to part-time work requests)
  • News from the working time law
  • Resolution of the works council by video/telephone conference

The number of participants is limited. We therefore ask you to register in good time via the following link: https://www.edudip.com/de/webinar/29-arbeitgeberforum-update-arbeitsrecht/168170.

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