Since August 1, 2022, the new regulation in the Verification Act obliges German employers to record and archive further contractual terms in writing in addition to the information regulated in Section 2 (1) of the NachwG. And this in paper form. The new regulation leads to considerable additional bureaucratic work, and many companies have hardly been able to prepare for the new Verification Act due to the short transition period. Therefore, the question arises: How can medium-sized companies implement the requirements resulting from the Verification Act in a compliance-compliant and yet company-specific manner?
Background and content of the new regulations
With the new Working Conditions Directives, EU Directive 91/533/EEC has been transposed into national law. With this new regulation, the EU aims to create more transparency in working conditions and thus improve them. To this end, employers must document more information than before about the employment relationship of their employees. Failure to comply with the obligation to provide proof may result in a fine of up to 2000 euros per violation.
What has changed? In addition to the information on working conditions previously required under Section 1 of the NachwG, such as the start date, place or time of work, further points have been added. For example, employers are now required to provide a transparent description of working hours, including rest breaks, vacation and shifts. Or to define precisely under which conditions overtime is ordered. The proof of working conditions can be provided in writing independently of the employment contract. However, if all the relevant provisions on working conditions are already in the employment contract, there is no need to prepare a separate written statement. The requirements are associated with a new deadline regulation.
The goal-oriented implementation of the new regulations
The way to comply with the amended statutory provisions may vary from company to company. For example, it may be necessary to create standardized employment contracts. In this case, a new standard contract, if necessary, is drafted in consultation with the company’s labor law representation, which is then offered to all employees. This has the advantage of proactively countering any inquiries from employees and thus actively signaling the seriousness of compliance. In other cases, the creation of a contractual basis for new contracts may be appropriate and the company separately fulfills its obligations to inform employees who are already employed by the company.
In principle, this compliance measure should also be seen in close connection with an existing employer branding and with active HR management. This change in particular is a good opportunity to show employees that compliance is taken seriously and also applies to the employer. Every decision should be implemented step by step and documented. In many cases, the contracts in the HR management systems need to be adapted. Likewise, a company should have a process in place for providing information to employees. In the course of transparency, consideration can be given to whether the relevant terms and conditions should also be made available to all employees on an intranet in order to offer a smart and up-to-date information option – regardless of the legal regulation.
When implementing this compliance requirement, many individual points can certainly be clarified with pragmatic approaches and synergy effects can be used with foresight. We at THE MAK`ED TEAM have a high level of expertise in compliance management and HR management. Thus, we support medium-sized companies to keep this bureaucratic additional work as lean as possible and to implement it profitably.
Our sister company Complian’se GmbH & Co. KG efficiently supports your company with a Compliance as a Service (COMaaS) and takes over, among other things, the tasks of ensuring compliance with the rules (www.complian-se.com).
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