Labour Law Policy

Employers in the metal and electrical industry have proposed the structure of a possible wage settlement in the 3rd round of negotiations for the 2021 round of collective bargaining in North Rhine-Westphalia.
At the end of 2020, the BMAS presented a draft bill for a law to promote works council elections and strengthen works councils (Works Council Strengthening Act).
On 6 January 2021, the Federal Cabinet adopted a draft law which, among other things, provides for requirements for the composition of the management boards of listed companies and companies with equal co-determination.
Since the CDU/CSU and SPD have not yet been able to agree on new legal regulations in the area of mobile working, the BMAS presented a draft bill at the end of November 2020.
CDU/CSU and SPD have agreed on a binding quota for women on executive boards.
On 9 November 2020, the executive board of IG Metall announced its recommendation to the regional bargaining commissions.
Short-time work can be a suitable means for companies, especially in economically weaker times, to reduce costs in the short term and at the same time avoid redundancies and preserve jobs. The brochure summarises the basic principles and legal regulations.
The right to a "home office", which has been discussed for months, was given concrete form by a first draft law from the Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs in October 2020.
On 25 August 2020, the coalition committee adopted the following regulations on short-time work:
During the pandemic, the state must enforce hygiene regulations and, where necessary, make improvements. However, a general obligation to wear masks at the workplace would not make sense in mechanical engineering.
By July 30, 2020 the member states of the European Union are obliged to transpose the new labour law requirements from the revised Posting of Workers Directive into national law.
The question of the collective bargaining obligations of companies remains in the focus of the political discussion. A survey among the VDMA members provides important insights - because in mechanical engineering in Germany, too, collective bargaining is decreasing.
On 18 September, the Federal Cabinet passed a draft of a third law to relieve the economy of bureaucracy.
The plans of Federal Labour Minister Hubertus Heil to subsidise trade union dues are "absurd" from the point of view of VDMA chief economist Dr. Ralph Wiechers.
The content of the focus legal brochure "The statutory minimum wage - effects on company practice" has been revised as of July 2019.
The Regulation establishing a European Labour Agency (ELA) entered into force on 31 July 2019.
The Grand Coalition wants to change the working hours law. Companies should get more leeway in the future so that they can adapt their working hours to the requirements of increasing digitalisation, demands the VDMA.
A recent study has confirmed that time limits are an integral part of the German labour market. The VDMA continues to reject regulation of the time limit.
The wage system must be changed and modernized, demands Gesamtmetall boss Dulger. The VDMA Managing Director Brodtmann can also take some pleasure in this.
The instrument of short-time working is a popular tool in economically weaker times. Not only the projections of the Federal Employment Agency, but also the ifo business cycle test show that the situation is tense and that companies are thinking about introducing short-time work. However, the mechanical engineering sector is still somewhat more optimistic than the vehicle manufacturing sector and some consumer goods sectors. In addition, very little short-time work was paid out in the mechanical engineering sector in 2018.
Following the agreement of the European Parliament on 16 April 2019, the Council adopted on 13 June 2019 a Regulation establishing a European Labour Authority (ELA).
Five years after its introduction, trade unionists and politicians have spoken out in favour of a further increase in the minimum wage. The DGB also advocates a Europe-wide minimum wage. The VDMA does not believe in the claim.
The VDMA critically evaluates the National Continuing Education Strategy of the Federal Government.
German Parliament has cleared the way for a regulated immigration of skilled workers. However, the law remains inadequate with regard to rules such as the recognition of foreign university degrees.
According to the idea of IG Metall, a Transformation Short-Term Worker's Compensation (Transformations-KuG) is intended to support companies and employees in coping with technological or other structural change - with the aim of keeping employees in the company and qualifying them for changed and new requirements and activities.
On 7 June 2019, the German Bundestag passed the law on the immigration of skilled workers.
At the beginning of 2019, the state of North Rhine-Westphalia submitted a proposal to the Bundesrat to revise the Working Hours Act (Bundesrat-Drucksache 24/19). The vote on 15 March 2019 did not result in a sufficient majority for the project.
VDMA President Carl Martin Welcker welcomes the fact that parliamentary deliberations on the immigration law of skilled empolyees have finally begun.
Neither tax concessions nor statutory tariff opening clauses are the right measures to enforce collective tariff agreements. "Politics should better stay out of the collective tariff business altogether," demands VDMA Executive Director Thilo Brodtmann.
The German mechanical and plant engineering industry can draw a proud balance for its companies on the occasion of the vocational training report adopted by the Federal Government on Wednesday: The number of trainees in the German mechanical and plant engineering sector rose again in 2018.
With regard to the possibilities, but also the challenges of digitisation, the VDMA continues to call for the urgently overdue reform of the Working Hours Act.
Especially cyclical industries such as the German mechanical and plant engineering industry are dependent on temporary employment in order to compensate for economic fluctuations. Although temporary employment is already regulated by law and collective bargaining law like hardly any other sector, politicians and trade unions repeatedly call for further regulations - up to and including a complete ban. It is a springboard in work, especially for the low-skilled and the long-term unemployed.
"Digitisation must become a top topic in engineering science university teaching", emphasises Hartmut Rauen, Deputy Executive Director of the VDMA, on the occasion of the annual report published on 27 February by the Expert Commission on Research and Innovation (EFI).
Since Dec. 2018, the EU institutions have been negotiating a proposal for a regulation establishing an EU Labour Authority. A preliminary agreement was reached on 14.02.19.
The EU Parliament, the EU Council and the EU Commission have reached a preliminary agreement on the Directive on transparent and reliable working conditions within the framework of the so-called trialogue on 7 February 2019. The planned Directive represents a recast of the previous Detection Directive 91/533/EEC.
Temporary work can play a key role in the recruitment and deployment of experts from other EU countries. In many cases, small and medium-sized companies in particular can hardly do without external support in the recruitment processes.
The Corporate Learning Community (CLC) is a non-commercial network of actors in operational personnel development. The activities of the community are aimed at innovative learning. Already in 2018 the VDMA took over the patronage for a so-called Learning Camp.
VDMA and IG Metall have joined forces with the Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology in an "industry dialogue" in which they have committed themselves to using the economic opportunities arising from digitisation and artificial intelligence to secure the future of mechanical and plant engineering.
On the occasion of the latest labour market figures of the Federal Labour Office, VDMA Managing Director Thilo Brodtmann demands that temporary employment in the recruitment of skilled workers from third countries should not be ruled out.
The law on the immigration of skilled workers and the law on acquiescence while in education and employment were passed on 19 December 2018. VDMA will participate in the consultations.
Fabian Seus
Fabian Seus
Manager VDMA Competence Center Labour Market
+49 69 6603-1350
+49 69 6603-2350
Holger Wuchold
Holger Wuchold
Political Communication, Labour Market Policy
+49 30 306946-19
+49 30 306946-20
Annette Meyerhoff
Annette Meyerhoff
Auslandsverflechtungen, Bildungsstatistik, FuE
+49 69 6603 1382
+49 69 6603 1382
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