4. Trends and Specific Cases
a. Recent Amendments to the Law
In April 2017, a new provision of the German Civil Code (§ 611a BGB) will enter into force, which defines the conditions of employment contracts. This will be the first time that such a legal definition exists in the German Civil Code. The new regulation is intended to bring about more legal security. Nevertheless, a big change is not expected due to the fact that the new section includes most of the courts´ criteria for the assessment of whether a person is an employee or an independent contractor.
Furthermore, in April 2017 new regulations of contracts for employee leasing will come into force. Pursuant to the new regulations, lessors and lessees are obliged to characterize employee leasing explicitly as “employee leasing”. Currently, the lessor and the lessee often characterize agreements about employee leasing as service or project contracts in order to avoid the protective regulations of the German Labour Law. If it turns out that the agreement must be characterized as employee leasing, the parties could avoid legal consequences if the lessor held a precautionary permission of employee leasing. From April 2017 onwards such a precautionary permission will no longer be allowed.