“A barbaric sentence of an asocial quality”, commented Wolfgang Thierse, Vice President of the German Bundestag about the notorious ‘Emmely sentence’, the case of a Berlin cashier who embezzled 1.30 Euros and whose dismissal was declared legal by the Berlin-Brandenburg Higher Labour Court. By this statement, Thierse expressed the sentiment prevailing in a large part of the populace and the media. As a reaction to the increasing numbers of so-called bagatelle dismissals, the German Social-Democrats plan to propose a bill in January in order to prevent dismissals based on minor misdemeanours.
But what would happen if every employee was allowed to steal from his employer up to a certain limit. What would that limit be 10, 20 or 50 Euros? And how often would they be allowed to steal before being dismissed once, twice, ten times? In view of these difficult questions, the President of the Federal Labour Court, Ingrid Schmidt, countered with the opinion that thefts committed by employees, even if their degree was minor, had to do with “a lack of decency” and that from the point of view of employment law, there are no bagatelles.
At PERSONAL2010, Wolf J. Reuter, lawyer and employment law specialist for Jacobsen Rechtsanwälte, Jörg Mink, employer in the gastronomy, catering, delicatessen and the consulting sector, and a representative of the Confederation of German Trade Unions (Deutscher Gewerkschaftsbund) will discuss these controversial perspectives. The discussion will be presented by Stefanie Kirschner, editor of the magazine “Arbeit und Arbeitsrecht” (“labor and labor law”).
Between sub-par performance and employee motivation
In economically difficult times, companies especially try to get rid of employees whom they look upon as low performers. Which malperformances are considered as contract violations or breaches of duty by employment law will be explained by Dr. Susanne Giesecke, partner and lawyer at the commercial law firm Heisse Kursawe Eversheds, in her lecture "Umgang mit Low-Performern arbeitsrechtliche Aspekte und taktische Vorgehensweise" (“How to deal with low performers aspects of employment law and tactical approach”).
But often the employees simply lack motivation. In the past months especially, many companies have started restructuring processes, have dismissed employees or have made their workforce insecure with reorganisation plans. For this reason, pillorying individual employees is not a helpful solution.
Human resource managers have the duty to restore the employees’ confidence and to keep them in the company, so as to not jeopardise their productivity and motivation. Dr. Barbara Reinhard and Dr. Katja Mückenberger, both specialist lawyers at the law firm Beiten Burkhardt, will present motivation models in employment law and their strategic implementation.
Current changes in employment law at a glace
In addition to these thematic focuses, the visitors of southern Germany’s biggest trade fair for human resource management can also catch up on the newest developments in employment jurisdiction and legislation: Dr. Peter Rambach, lawyer and employment law specialist at Dr. Fettweis & Sozien, and Christoph Tillmanns, chief judge at the Baden-Wuerttemberg Higher Labour Court, will sketch current sentences and changes to be expected in the long term for example based on the coalition agreement of the governing parties in Germany.
The complete programme of PERSONAL2010 can be found at www.personal-messe.de.