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Collective agreement

The legal basis of the collective agreement can be found in the collective agreement law (TVG). This is a written contract between the parties to the collective bargaining agreement. These are trade unions, individual employers (house, works and company collective agreements) and employers' associations. If it is just a contract with only one employer, there is no collective agreement, but a company, works or house collective agreement.

The collective agreements are negotiated between the contracting parties without legal ordinances interfering with, among other things, content or formation (collective bargaining autonomy).

The term is agreed in the collective agreement. The termination occurs through the passage of time, termination and termination agreement. If an employer leaves the employers' association with which an association collective agreement has been concluded, this does not lead to the immediate termination of the collective agreement. The bond remains until the collective agreement is terminated, expires or canceled by either party.

The collective agreement regulates the rights and obligations of the parties to the collective bargaining agreement with one another (part of the law of obligations) and also contains a normative part with legal norms that can regulate the content, conclusion and termination of employment relationships, as well as operational and works constitution issues.

The law of obligations part contains the obligations of the contracting parties (e.g. peace obligation) and obligations to act as well as other obligations (e.g. obligation to create social facilities).

The provisions of the normative part, like legal norms, have a direct effect on the individual employment relationships. The same applies to the creation of joint institutions for their statutes and the relationship between the institution and parties bound by collective bargaining agreements. The legal norms of the collective agreement on company and works constitution issues apply to all companies whose employer is bound by collective bargaining agreements.

The applicability of a collective agreement to an employment relationship does not affect every employment relationship per se. Rather, the company must fall within the technical and regional area of ​​the collective agreement. The contracting parties must also be members of a collective bargaining association (employers' association or trade union). If these prerequisites are met, then the collective agreement applies immediately and mandatory, the validity of the collective agreement does not have to be agreed separately. Deviations to the detriment of the employee are ineffective, unless this has been expressly agreed in a collective agreement (usually through an opening clause).

If no collective agreement is directly and compulsorily applied, the validity of a collective agreement or individual regulations can be agreed in individual contracts (reference).

The general binding force of a collective agreement can be ordered by the Federal Minister of Labor in accordance with Section 5 TVG.

If the collective agreement has expired, it continues to have an effect until an agreement has been reached. The collective bargaining agreements therefore live on in the employment contract (after-effect) - but only for union members who are already employed.

Collective agreements are registered in public wage registers that are kept by the Federal Ministry of Economics and Labor and by all federal states (usually labor or social ministries).

Last update: 01/21/2019