GRP Rainer LLP

Entitlement to Part-Time Work After Parental Leave

The employer of an employee returning after parental leave must provide for a part-time employment option.


Cologne, NRW -- (SBWIRE) -- 08/06/2013 -- GRP Rainer Attorneys and Tax Advisors in Cologne, Berlin, Bonn, Bremen, Düsseldorf, Essen, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Hanover, Munich, Nuremberg and Stuttgart explain: The Regional Labor Court in Cologne decided (file ref. no.: 7 SA 766/12) that an employee returning to the company after paternal leave is entitled to work on a part-time basis. The plaintiff had been previously employed within a three-shift operation as a full-time employee. After his two-year parental leave, he only wanted to work on a part-time basis from 9:00am until 2:00pm. With his family situation with two children and a wife employed, working a full time position in three shifts did not seem possible.

The employer, however, refused the request of the plaintiff for part-time work during the morning hours. This was justified by business operation motives that would stand in the way of working these sought after working hours. According to § 8 para 4 sentence 1, of Part-time Work and Fixed-term Contracts Law (TzBfG) the employer must consent, in principle, to a reduction in working time and the schedule distribution needs of the employee, but only if no operational reasons should restrict such consent. One such reason exists, for example, if a reduction in working time would endanger safety or cause disproportionate costs.

In his explanatory statement, the defendant’s submitted work hours from 9: 00 until 14: 00 would have necessitated separate planning and also an additional shift change would have been required. For reasons of efficiency and because of the ensuing disruptions to operation processes, it was determined to be unreasonable to comply with the request for part-time work hours of the plaintiff from the standpoint of the employer. The Regional Labor Court in Cologne, however, was of the opinion that the reasons given by the defendant were not sufficient enough and therefore confirmed the judgment of the decision under appeal. With every adjustment to working hours, an organizational effort and a certain restructuring of operations was reportedly required. As long as these are to a reasonable extent, the employer must also undertake these efforts.

Both for employees and employers, there are legal issues surrounding the topic of part-time work. In addition to the provisions in the employment contract, the applicable collective bargaining agreements for assessment of the facts of the case must be used. An experienced attorney in the area of employment law attorney looks into the available options of each individual case and helps in the enforcement of existing claims.

About GRP Rainer LLP
GRP Rainer LLP is an international firm of lawyers and tax advisors who are specialists in commercial law. The firm counsels commercial and industrial companies and corporations, as well as associations, small- and mid-sized businesses, self-employed freelancers and private individuals worldwide from offices Cologne, Berlin, Bonn, Dusseldorf, Essen, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Hannover, Munich, Stuttgart, Bremen, Nuremberg and London UK.

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