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Germany – Protection Against Dismissal Threshold Includes Agency Staff

29 January 2013

A court in Germany has recently extended the protection against dismissal to smaller firms after judges ruled that temporary agency workers have to be taken into account when assessing a company’s size.

General protection against dismissal applies to firms employing more than ten staff. If a small company, with less than ten direct employees, uses temporary agency workers on a regular basis, the dismissal protection act may still apply to the firm.

The ruling by federal labour judges earlier this month therefore indicates that smaller firms may have to follow rules to protect employees from dismissals. This is the case if the firm has more than 10 workers working in the company, including temporary agency staff.

Smaller firms with less than 10 staff were usually exempt from applying the protection dismissal act to support their financial resources.

“Employers have no longer an opportunity to annul the protection against dismissal act with the employment of temporary agency workers,” said specialist lawyer Marc-Oliver Schulze. Despite the ruling by federal labour judges, the case will be reviewed by the higher labour court in Nuremberg. 

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