C as in Contract
When are provisions in my employment contract void?
Most employment contracts are concluded in writing and contain a large number of pre-formulated clauses. The contract usually is prescribed by the employer and only a few details are actually negotiated between employer and employee. Therefore the clauses are subject to strict review.
What happens if a provision in the contract is invalid?
The validity of a pre-formulated agreement depends, among other things, on whether it unreasonably disadvantages the employee. Unclear provisions may also be invalid. Any ambiguity is to the detriment of the employer who has stipulated the pre-formulated employment contract. If individual agreements are invalid, the agreement as a whole remains valid, but the provision in question does not apply. The statutory provision takes its place, not the strictest possible provision that is still admissible.
Particular caution is always required if the employer reserves the right to unilaterally amend the agreement in their favor, if he or she reserves the right to revoke benefits or if he or she designates certain parts of the agreement as voluntary. An employer can only withdraw from an agreed upon benefit without your consent by terminating the contract.
Please note: This is a very general overview on the subject of employment contracts under german labor law. If you need help in your particular case, please do not hestitate to contact me or book your appointment. I’m happy to help.