There wasnt really much to report the last few weeks.
Every newsletter had to say something about the Government’s planned changes to the Employment Relations Act and the EC decision in Totara farms. Whats interesting about the latter is that some firms took a shoulder-shrug kind of approach and were quite relaxed about the Court questioning the genuineness of a redundany by looking at the Employer’s business plan (whats wrong with that anyway?). For other firms the decision meant that from now on employers are in deep trouble and that the Court had seriously crossed the line this time.
Whatever. This here is actually much more useful – an introduction to UK Employment law, apparently written for possible Chinese investors. Things to note, from a New Zealand perspective, are cascading notice periods, meaning the longer the service, the longer the notice – similar to the respective provisions under German law. Minimum statutory holidays are – surprise – longer (28 days!), but the big difference is the sick-pay entitlement – a massive 28 weeks (!) max in any 3 year period. How shameful in comparison New Zealands embarrassingly low 5 days per year, accumuluating to up to max 20 days.
And in other news, the German Federal Employment Court ruled that an employer is entitled to pay older employee’s with longer service LESS redundancy pay and held that this is not discriminatory. Why not? Because redundancy (severance) pay is designed as a bridging payment during the unemployment period till new employment is found. Older employees, however, can be quite close to retirement age and can only potentially be looking for new employment for a short period pf time. The Court held that an employer is entitled to consider this and reduce the redundancy payment accordingly. Which makes sense.
And the final news is again from Gernany. A decision from the Federal Employment Court about the calculation of contributory payments to the federal pension scheme. Whats interesting here is that I could not even understand hat the problem was and what the Court actually decided. Which either shows that I have been away from Germany too long or that the matter is just too technical. Although the former is true, the latter is likely as the Federal Employment Court has its own division (!) dealing only with pension matters. Gee.