Expert team

Public Employers

Around 4.9 million persons are currently employed in the German public sector, of which over 3 million are classified as employees. In addition, there are several employers who do not strictly speaking belong to the public sector, but who are closely related to it and therefore use the collective agreements of the public sector or are subject to the German Employee Representation Act (Personalvertretungsgesetz). Special features and challenges of labor law in this sector often arise from the differing structures of employees subject to collective agreements and public servants, the complex regulations on collective wage agreement under the German Collective Agreement for the Public Sector (TVöD) and the German Collective Agreement for the Public Sector in Federal States (TV-L) as well as the versions of these agreements containing exclusively legal standards for dealings with third parties (durchgeschriebene Fassung) for the respective industries and the various Employee Representation Acts with federal and state-specific deviations.

We have decades of shared expertise in this area of employment law, and our advice covers the day-to-day work of government personnel departments as well as negotiations with personnel and works councils and the planning and implementation of comprehensive restructuring measures. This also includes adapting organizational structures to new workplace challenges and digitalization projects.

Supporting you in day-to-day human resources work

Our experience in advising and representing public broadcasters and their associated employers, numerous public authorities and privatized companies offering services of general interest, among others, has taught us what is important: not academic treatises with no practical applicability, but tailor-made, feasible recommendations for action.
We are also happy to provide advice and representation in the run-up to a dispute in order to achieve the best possible results. In addition, we will support you in personnel measures from the planning phase up to implementation, in close coordination with government personnel departments. If necessary, we will of course also represent you before all instances of the labor courts and before the administrative courts in matters of personnel representation law. Proceedings under civil service law before the administrative courts can be conducted in close cooperation with the relevant well-established specialist law firms.

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Our range of consultancy services includes classic labor law issues, for example in connection with the termination or preparation of employment relationships or the proper arrangement of hearings for representatives of employees or disabled employees and equal opportunity commissioners, as well as complicated and unresolved issues relating to collective agreement or employee representation law. Where necessary, we contribute our scientific expertise, honed as regularly published authors in professional journals and lecturers, and prepare expert opinions and recommendations for action, also on fundamental legal issues.

Proper involvement of representative bodies

Against the background of rights to participate and co-determine of staff committees and works councils, representatives for disabled employees and equal opportunity commissioners, we will leverage our expertise to help you to navigate through this minefield of regulations that are at times nearly impossible to keep track of and prevent the – in some cases considerable – legal consequences for individuals. In addition, we will of course draft and negotiate all collective agreements with the according bodies and represent your interests in multi-stage and arbitration committee proceedings.

Collective wage agreements and scope for organizing work

When advising public employers, the special features of collective wage agreement under TVöD and TV-L always play a role. Federally conducted classification proceedings, the frequently relevant delimitation of employment relationships and freelance employee relationships, especially in the area of public broadcasters, and questions regarding the provision of personnel are part of our everyday practice. We are very familiar with all the associated special features and offer comprehensive consultations for employers at the municipal and state levels. We also have special expertise in the areas where rigid collective agreement requirements reach their limits, for example where payment and remuneration structures are needed that go beyond the collectively agreed pay scale.

Digitalization in the public sector

Current digitalization projects must be formulated pragmatically and with legal certainty. One of our main practice areas is legal support against the background of a workplace that is becoming increasingly digitalized, where the public sector must also face new labor law issues. The COVID-19 pandemic also made a significant contribution to accelerating digitalization, which presents public employers with the challenge of designing appropriate measures in accordance with the legal requirements.
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Here, we support you, for example in implementing the relevant conditions for mobile work in the public sector and in involving all representative bodies, which is a prerequisite for such work. Due to the fact that our practice focuses extensively on labor law, we take on complex projects and offer comprehensive consultation regarding labor-law matters from a single source, in cooperation with our expert teams, “Work 4.0 / Employee Data Protection” and “Compliance / Internal Investigations”.

Our experts, your contacts

Dr. Herbert

Dr. Björn
Braun, LL.M.

Dr. Michel
Hoffmann, LL.B.

  • T +49 221 22286 - 0
  • F +49 221 22286 - 400
  • Richmodstraße 8, D-50667 Cologne
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