What are the main obligations of contracts

Rights and duties of employers and employees

Anyone who gets involved in a job closes an employment contract which regulates the duties and rights of the employee and the employer in the company.

But also the legislature specifies basic rights and obligations for employees and employers. These are set out in labor law.

In a nutshell: rights and obligations

Where is it recorded which rights and obligations employees and employers have?

The rights and obligations of employers and employees are set out in the employment contract.

What is the main duty of employers?

The main duty of employers is to pay the salary.

What main obligation do employees have to fulfill?

For employees, the main obligation in an employment relationship is the provision of work.

But which labor law issues are regulated where? What rights and obligations can include employment contracts? And what can those involved do when the other party violates the employment contract? In this guide we will tell you everything about the rights and obligations in the employment relationship.

Rights and duties in the employment relationship: German labor law is complex

The term "labor law" refers to a field of law which the legal relationships defines - in simple terms: the rights and obligations of employees and employers - between the individual parties to an employment relationship.

That sounds like a very simple definition, but in truth it is the provisions of labor law very complex and above all widely scattered. So far exists no legal source, which combines all regulations of labor law. Instead, these are distributed over many sources.

For example, § 9 of the Basic Law (GG) contains the freedom of association, which the Formation and membership in trade unions and employers' associations allowed. Section 291 of the Criminal Code (StGB) deals with the legal consequences of Wage usury. In the German Civil Code (BGB) there are in turn many regulations on which rights and obligations in the employment contract may be set.

At the same time, there are many labor law issues regulated in their own law. These include, for example:

  • the collective bargaining act
  • the Dismissal Protection Act
  • the Working Hours Act
  • the minimum wage law
  • the Federal Vacation Act
  • the Youth Labor Protection Act
  • the Workplace Protection Act
  • the Partial Retirement Act
  • the Maternity Protection Act
  • the Continued Payment Act
  • the undeclared work law

On top of that exists alongside all of these national laws also that European law, which provides legal guidelines for all of Europe - and thus also for Germany.

It is therefore extremely difficult for the layperson to all rights and obligations, which the legislator basically stipulates for an employment relationship. It becomes even more difficult to decide which regulations apply to the particular work in question and whether one of the many mentioned in the law is perhaps Exceptional cases is present.

So that employees and employers know what rights and obligations they have without themselves through all provisions To have to fight through labor law, an employment contract is drawn up. This usually includes the regulations that exactly for this position in exactly this company apply and should be compatible with the requirements of the legislature.

The rights and obligations under the employment contract

An employment contract stipulates the rights and obligations in a specific employment relationship apply to all parties involved. Both employees and employers have to adhere to this contract. It can be one individually concluded employment contract or a collective agreement.

Was an individual employment contract concluded, although actually for the employment relationship a collective agreement would have to exist, the collective bargaining rights and obligations for the employment relationship usually apply - even if the parties involved are not aware of it. However, it can happen that certain claims in the collective agreement expire or become statute-barredif these are not asserted in time due to ignorance (or other reasons).

By the way: A written employment contract is not a requirement verbally concluded contract is also valid. However, if there is a dispute between the employee and the employer, it is more difficult to prove in an oral employment contract which rights and obligations are to be found when the contract is concluded agreed were.

What do primary and secondary obligations mean in a contract?

Each type of contract establishes certain obligations for the contracting parties. There are obligations for one type of contract characteristic are - even so characteristic that they are enshrined in law are.

Is z. B. concluded a rental agreement, the landlord is obliged to the tenant the rented property for use to leave. The tenant has in return the rent payment to be paid. This is what § 535 BGB stipulates.

Such obligations, which are essential to a contract, become referred to as primary duties. You determine what type of contract it is.

In addition, a contract can also contain obligations that not seen let us know what type of contract it is. So z. B. a clause that stipulates the punctual provision of the service, also apply to a rental agreement as well as to a purchase agreement. Such non-essential contractual obligations will be as secondary duties designated.

The main and secondary obligations of the employer

The main duty of the employer is to the employee a remuneration to pay for his work: in the form of wages.

The amount of the salary will be like all rights and obligations of the employment relationship recorded in the employment contract. This must comply with the statutory provisions and z. B. take into account the law on minimum wages and the collective agreement law.

The employer's obligation to pay wages also includes the punctual payment of wages, the proper payment of Taxes and social security contributions, the continued payment of wages in the event of vacation or illness, the equal treatment of male and female employees and the issuing of a written pay slip. This must contain information on the salary earned and the individual deductions.

In addition to the main obligation to pay remuneration also apply Secondary obligations for the employer. These include B.

  • the duty of employment: the employer has the employee appropriate and to be employed in accordance with the agreements in the employment contract.
  • the duty of care: the boss has it Interests of his employees to be taken into account, provided that these do not conflict with operational interests.
  • Protection and due diligence: The employer must ensure that his employees are under reasonable conditions can work. This includes z. B. to take occupational safety measures or to protect employees from bullying in the workplace.
  • the obligation to grant vacation: A vacation request may only for urgent operational reasons being rejected. Nevertheless, the employee must be granted the contractually agreed vacation days.
  • the data protection obligation: that of the employer collected data may be passed on via the employee with his express consent. In addition, the company must appoint a data protection officer.
  • the duty to protect against sexual harassment
  • the duty to protect against discrimination in the workplace
  • the duty to protect the life and health of the employee
  • the obligation to issue a job reference

In addition to these general secondary obligations, an employment contract can also individual secondary obligations that are industry or company-specific. For this purpose z. B. include the provision of required equipment.

If an employer violates the rights to which the employee is entitled and does not fulfill his obligations under the employment contract, the employee may have the option of Claims for damages to assert or his Withhold work performanceuntil the contractual agreement is fulfilled.

If there is a serious breach of duty that was committed intentionally or with gross negligence by the employer, a termination without notice be permitted by the employee.

The main and secondary obligations of the employee

Of course, there are also rights and obligations for the employee from the employment contract. His main duty is the duty to work: He has to perform the agreed work personally. Under certain circumstances, however, he can withdraw from this duty temporarily given birth become. This is e.g. B. in the case of illness or vacation.

The employee practices several activities side by side, he is also obliged to take into account some restrictions:

  • He may not start a job with another employer of the same type without the first employer giving the agreed Has.
  • The secondary activity is allowed the efficiency in the main job if the employee is unable to fulfill his contractual obligations as a result.
  • The employee himself has to ensure that the working hours from the various employment relationships in total does not exceed the statutory maximum working hours.

In addition to these main obligations also apply Secondary obligations for the employee. These include, among others

  • the duty of confidentiality
  • the duty of loyalty
  • the prohibition of corruption
  • the duty to protect employer property
  • Information, accountability and disclosure obligations
  • the duty to refrain from notifications that damage reputation and credit

Furthermore, the employment contract company or industry specific Define rights and obligations, such as B. the obligation to work overtime or to work in shifts.

If the employee breaches the agreed obligations in accordance with the employment contract, this may entitle the employer to a warning or notice of termination. Also a damages or one Wage reduction are conceivable sanctions.

The employer has these rights

As a rule, the duties and rights of the employee correspond to the rights and duties of the employer - and vice versa.

While z. B. for an employee the Duty of loyalty exists vis-à-vis the company, it also means that for the boss Right to this loyalty. And the duty to work as the main duty of the employee determines the right of the boss to the fulfillment of this duty.

In addition, the Industrial Code (GewO) stipulates that employers have a right of instruction or direction feature. According to this, a boss can determine the content, place and time of the work performance as well as the behavior of the employee, insofar as these working conditions are compatible with the employment contract and the statutory provisions. Are the instructions though immoral or unreasonablethe employee does not have to obey them.

What are your rights as an employee?

The same applies to employees: Your rights and obligations arise from duties and rights of the employer. Employees thus have a right to, among other things

  • the punctual and full payment of wages
  • continued payment of wages in the event of incapacity for work or during vacation
  • a minimum number of vacation days per year
  • the written issue of the pay slip
  • protection against discrimination and sexual harassment in the workplace
  • compliance with occupational health and safety
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Rights and duties of employers and employees
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