Trainee Patent Attorney Salary Australia – Welcome everyone to the latest installment of the World at Work Groups series. My name is Steven Woodbury, and I’m pleased to once again share with you about the current issues of interest to our global practice group. In this our final podcast for the year, it’s only fitting that we focus on what we see as possibly the most important employment issues for 2022. Well, as always with me are our panels from our team; Judith von der Heydt from our Frankfurt office, Christina Grande from our Madrid office, Crowley Woodford from London, Jordan Cohen from Paris and Karen Mitra from our Singapore office.
Now we asked each of our participants their top two issues for 2022. But before we get into that, you’d probably think that vaccinations and policies related to COVID would be the top two issues for any country. And you’d probably be right, except we asked our panels not to include any COVID issues this time. So the field is much more open, and I hope that as we continue, you will find some expected problems as well as some unexpected problems identified by our panels. So without further ado, let’s start in Germany and Judith from our office in Frankfurt. There is always a lot going on in Germany. So please tell us what are the two issues you see for employers in Germany?
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Thank you, Stephen. Well, in our opinion, the two main problems for Germany are the problems in the gig economy and working time. Several employment companies continue to influence the modern economy of the Western world [skateboard 00:01:29] and platform services and courts, politicians and public authorities in many European countries have seen the impact of platform services closely. And also whether they carry out dangerous working relationships. In Germany, the majority of workers are self-employed. And in the past, such a classification was confirmed in most court cases. However, late last year, the federal labor court ruled that mob workers could be classified as workers under German labor law. The decision certainly has important implications for the gig economy. This does not mean that all multiple workers are currently in a working relationship with the platform operators.
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This is still determined on a case-by-case basis. However, platform operators should review their structure to avoid misclassification of aggregated workers. Any misclassification affects not only the status of the employee, but can lead to significant payment obligations from the point of view of social legislation and tax. Companies even risk criminal prosecution for willful misclassification. At the same time, the folk industry should pay attention to possible legislative actions. The outgoing Minister of Labor and Social Affairs has already announced plans to improve working conditions for busy workers in the gig economy. And this approach has now been endorsed by our potential new government. The challenges of our second theme are also largely a result of digitization, as access and mobile work offer greater flexibility. Although German working time laws remain very strict in Germany, including a maximum total working time of 8 hours per day and an 11-hour rest period after the end of work per day, which can be observed when an employee quickly responds to a business email it is very difficult. midnight before going to bed
And strictly does not allow it to start [inaudible 00:03:34]. In addition, in a 2019 ruling, the European Court of Justice ruled that all member states are obliged to create national regulations to introduce a comprehensive time recording system. This requirement is not met by the current employer obligation in Germany, and therefore the German legislature is obliged to adopt legislation to meet the requirements of EU law. This is not yet done and it remains to be seen whether the new German government, which is expected to be in place by the end of the year, will adapt the current working time law and allow more flexibility in working time schedules and, in particular, implement the European Court of Justice ruling in about time recording systems. In addition, the decision of the federal labor court on the registration of working hours next year is suspected, which may cause some movements to be disputed. So definitely something to look forward to in 2022.
Thank you, Judith. It is very, very interesting, especially in terms of time recording, which is a function that, for example, has been in other countries, especially Australia, for many years. I’m just wondering if the purpose of these reforms is to ensure that people don’t work overtime and/or is it to ensure they are properly paid for the work being done?
I think it’s more of a letter, because I think that was also the basis of the decision of the European Court. The workers who are currently in Germany and I think in many other European countries only have to record over time, which of course they don’t do unless regular working hours are recorded and if they are paid for overtime. . But if they don’t get it, of course they won’t get it. And this was the problem and grounds for the decision of the European Court of Justice.
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Yes. Of course, the argument is enough. Thank you Judith. A very interesting import from Germany. Now let’s go to Spain. Cristina, what are the issues for employers in Spain for 2022?
The main issues are about [inaudible 00:05:59] rules with those about remote work and working hours. The Remote Work Act sets out certain procedures that all employers must follow on a regular basis to place their employees on remote services. And it is normally understood that if within three months at least 30 percent of the working time is part-time work. So, in practice, those companies that allow their employees to perform their services, at least one and a half days a week, regulate the conditions of such remote work as part of their employment contract.
The content of this contract is specifically determined by law. It often sets the inventory of resources and equipment for employees, working hours, contract duration, compensation costs, etc. Failure to comply with this obligation to formalize a written agreement on remote work, if detected by the labor inspectorate, can be punished with a fine of up to 7,500 euros. workplace designated by employees.
This is a key to avoid potential liabilities that may arise in the future, for example, in the event of an accident at the employee’s assigned location. Another problem is that the law states that the employer must reimburse the employee for expenses related to remote work. And it also refers to collective agreements. However, nowadays, in some collective agreements, such as the collective agreements of the bank or the sewerage or the chemical industry, nothing is said in this regard. Therefore, the problem for the employees is that they have to provide the compensation amount. And this is a difficult problem, because the law does not set parameters, other than that employers must explain how they decided to pay a certain amount. They cannot pay and large amounts, because otherwise, the compensation can be considered as salary and therefore taxable, and according to Spanish law, when calculating this muscle compensation can also be taken into account.
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Therefore, I think that we have to wait for the decisions of the employment inspectorate and the Spanish courts to see what the adequate reimbursement of costs due to remote work means and if they give more clarification on this. Another challenge will be the race for uptime. Spanish subjects must be at work when the employment inspector checks whether they comply with their obligation to keep a time register. The purpose of this register is to enable the employment inspectorate to determine whether employers are meeting their overtime obligations above the maximum 80 hours of overtime paid per year. And that the rest of the extra time will be taken on time. For example, non-compliance with the fixed working time register has led to serious increases and companies can be fined up to 7,500 euros.
And it should be said that the employment check not only checks the implementation of time accounting, but also its reliability. This is doubtful. They all start and end the same