The federal government wants to enable digital employment contracts

As of: March 21, 2024 3:00 p.m

According to the wishes of the traffic light government, it should soon be possible to conclude employment contracts by email. Justice Minister Buschmann is thus implementing a further measure to reduce bureaucracy. Praise comes from business.

It is intended to mark a further step towards digitalization and away from bureaucracy: soon employers will no longer have to hand out the terms of their employment contracts in paper form with a signature to future employees. As the SPD, Greens and FDP factions announced, a corresponding passage should be inserted into the bill to reduce bureaucracy.

Conclusion of contract by email

The new agreement stipulates that instead of the “written form” for the contractual conditions, the “text form” will be sufficient in the future. This means that an employment contract can then be concluded by email. Federal Justice Minister Marco Buschmann (FDP) wrote in a letter to the associations concerned: “Specifically, the Evidence Act should in future make it possible to provide proof of the essential contractual conditions in text form, provided that the document is accessible, can be saved and printed out by the employees and the employer receives proof of transmission and receipt.”

Only if employees request this does the employer have to provide them with written evidence. According to Buschmann, employee leasing contracts should also be concluded by email in the future.

“The regulations will make everyday life easier and at the same time guarantee legal certainty and the interests of employees,” said the parliamentary director of the Green parliamentary group, Irene Mihalic. The solution that has now been found will reduce bureaucracy, but at the same time ensure that evidentiary documents can be requested in the event of a dispute, emphasized the First Parliamentary Managing Director of the SPD, Katja Mast.

“Get rid of the paperwork”

Praise for the new project comes from several associations. For the Federal Association of German Startups, the change in the law is a positive message. “Away with paperwork and towards simpler digital processes,” explained the association. But now this “clear course” must “absolutely be maintained” in the parliamentary procedure. The employers’ association BDA spoke of a good step, but called for more momentum in the digitalization of administration.

The new law is expected to save almost one billion euros

Reducing bureaucracy will be “a long-running issue of this legislative period,” promised Buschmann. Last week, the cabinet introduced another law to reduce bureaucracy. It still needs to be finally discussed and decided in the Bundestag and Bundesrat. Among other things, the draft law provides for shorter retention periods for copies of invoices, bank statements, and payrolls – eight years instead of the previous ten. The law is intended to reduce the burden on the economy by almost one billion euros per year.

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