Jobs in Germany are no longer for life – they might not even be for a year. Sacha Grosjean, of German law firm Velten Franz Jakoby, looks at how traditional collective agreements are applied to modern methods of recruitment and contracts of employmentThe “job for life” was a common feature in the post-Second World War German economy, as was employee loyalty. However, in recent years, in the wake of the re-unification of Germany and the recession of the 1990s, the German employment market has become increasingly flexible. As a result, the average duration of employment relationships is diminishing. German employment law is unusual because while the legal system is based mainly on legislation, it also relies on binding law made by the courts, thereby facilitating greater flexibility. Below are some of the key issues employers have to consider when recruiting and engaging new employees.Job advertisementsAn employer must not advertise a position, either publicly or internally, as exclusively for men or exclusively for women. The only exception is when a particular gender is an essential prerequisite for the job at hand – for example, an advertisement for the role of a male actor. Discrimination against sex may give rise to a claim for damages against the employer. Employer’s “right to question”When invited to an interview, the applicant is obliged to answer truthfully any questions asked by the employer. However, the answers to these questions should be in the employer’s rightful and provable interest, and require an answer because of their relevance to the job. The applicant need not answer inadmissible questions.The applicant should be allowed to answer inadmissible questions without adhering to the truth if their refusal to answer – or a truthful answer – could have negative consequences for them. Only a false answer to a perfectly valid question can entitle the employer to contest the contract of employment. The employer is entitled to ask questions about professional skills, attachment of wages by creditors of the employee, physical disability, non-compete obligations under previous employment, state of health and previous convictions, if any connection with the employment exists. The employer may not ask for information regarding union membership, previous remuneration, pregnancy or an employee’s financial circumstances. Reimbursement of interview costsThe employer is obliged to reimburse the costs incurred by the interviewee if he invites an applicant to attend. This applies independently of whether an employment contract is concluded or not. Travelling expenses and, if required, costs for a hotel and for board, as well as loss of income, are reimbursable items. Engagement of foreign employees Citizens of EU-member-states may be employed by an employer in the same way as German employees. Persons who are citizens of non-EU countries or who are stateless require a residence permit from the authority for foreign nationals and a work permit from the labour office. The expiry of a work permit for a limited period does not result in the employment contract being void, but giving notice may then terminate the employment.If the employment contract has been concluded despite it always having been clear that a work permit would be required, and there was never any intention to apply for it, the contract is deemed void from the outset. Recently, an initiative was suggested by the German government to provide “green cards” for computer specialists – mainly from India – to meet an increasing demand for such skilled personnel. This initiative has not yet been adopted.Contract of employmentGenerally, a contract of employment does not need to be in writing to be legally binding – unless for a fixed term – and can be concluded verbally. However, the written form is recommended to avoid later differences of opinion over the contract’s precise details.In line with a statute based on an EU-directive, employers have to give every employee a signed document with the essential terms of contract within two months of their starting work. However, the legal consequences of flouting these statutory provisions are unclear.Labour courts have shown a tendency to shift the burden of proof in the employee’s favour regarding the interpretation of their contracts of employment.Probationary period and protection against dismissalDuring any probationary period all statutes, collective agreements and works agreements relating to employment law are applicable to the employee. During this period, which can last for a maximum of six months, the employment may be terminated with a notice period of two weeks. The employer is not required to give a reason for dismissal. After the probationary period, the general statutory protections against dismissal apply: these are mandatory provisions, and the employer has to give an acceptable reason for dismissal unless it relates to the expiry of a fixed-term contract. However, such a contract is only permissible if a factual reason for the fixed term exists when it ends.The only exception to this rule is under the Recruitment Promotion Act, which says fixed-term employment contracts may be concluded up to a maximum period of 24 months, even without a factual reason, if the employee is newly appointed. This Act is due to be phased out at the end of this year but it could be extended. If a fixed-term employment contract has been concluded without a factual reason, it is deemed to continue indefinitely. Minimum working conditionsSome basic working conditions are provided in mandatory legal provisions. After six months’ continuous employment the minimum notice period is four weeks to the end of a calendar month. An employee may not work longer than 48 hours a week and the minimum holiday entitlement is 24 working days each year. There is no legal provision regulating minimum wages. These are often settled in collective agreements between trade unions and employers’ associations, which often also regulate other working conditions. These agreements are mandatory and can be excluded only for the benefit of the employee. About 41,700 collective agreements are still in force. It is estimated that in Germany, collective agreements have an impact on the employment conditions of 90 per cent of all employees. The question of whether an employment relationship is ruled by collective agreements is therefore of paramount importance. Web sitesFurther information about employment law in Germany can be found at the following web sites:The Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs (links: “English” and “Labour law”) and Velten Franz JakobyThe Personnel Today guide to international employment Law is edited by Clare Murray, a partner in employment and partnership law at Fox Williams Mobility and flexibility lead the wayOn 20 Jun 2000 in Personnel Today Comments are closed. 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This unit at 17/588 Charlton Esplanade, Urangan, sold for the highest price on the Fraser Coast in 2018. The biggest reported sale in Queensland in 2018 was an absolute beachfront estate in idyllic Sunshine Beach for a staggering $18 million. This house at 22-24 Brindabella Quay, Trinity Park, was the biggest sale in Cairns in 2018.TOP 10 SALES OF 2018 IN TOWNSVILLEAddress Sale price1. 9/88 Mitchell St, North Ward $2.7m2$2,400,000Feb-18House5ARUNDELCOURTCASTLE HILL3$2,000,000Jan-18House3THE POINTCASTLE HILL4$1,900,000Mar-18House26CLEVELANDTERRACETOWNSVILLE CITY5$1,750,000May-18House5FRYERSTREETNORTH WARD6$1,450,000Aug-18House21BALMORALDRIVECASTLE HILL7$1,400,000Apr-18House19THE COVENELLY BAY8$1,350,000Feb-18House30YARRAWONGADRIVECASTLE HILL9$1,200,000Sep-18Unit121CLEVELANDTERRACENORTH WARD10$1,160,000May-18Unit114BALMORALDRIVECASTLE HILL(Source: CoreLogic) Clive Palmer bought this house at 36 Needham St, Fig Tree Pocket, in 2018. Domino’s Pizza boss Don Meij sold his house at 27 Sutherland Ave, Ascot, in 2018.In Rockhampton, a 132-year-old home fetched $1.37 million, while in Cairns, an award-winning five-bedroom house on the harbour sold for $2.65 million.While not publicly recorded, there were a number of offmarket sales that would have made the list, including disgraced businessman Christopher Skase’s lavish Hamilton mansion at 36 Dickson Tce, which sold for $10.138 million. Pat Rafter sold his Sunshine Coast home in 2018. On the Gold Coast, the biggest sale was in the so-called “millionaire’s row” of Hedges Avenue.Mr Palmer forked out a cool $12 million for a beachfront mansion with five bedrooms, a gym, a wine cellar, a lift and a lap pool at 9 Hedges Avenue. Aerial image of 36 Dickson Tce, Hamilton. Former home of Christopher Skase. Unknown copyright.Motivated by Brisbane’s growth and sales of other homes in the area, Brisbane couple Drew and Tabea Haupt have decided to sell their New Farm home.They bought the property at 64 Annie Street when they noticed it was for sale with development approval for a unit block.“The for sale sign came up and my wife and I, and brother who we’re in business with, said let’s buy this and build two large family homes to keep in with the charm of New Farm,” Mr Haupt said.“We hated the idea of having more units in the suburb, so we designed the house with family living in mind.”The property, which is being marketed by Henry Hodge and Kosta Porfyriou of McGrath Estate Agents, is expected to attract offers in the early to mid $3 million range.“If you compare it to Sydney and Melbourne, the proximity to the city, there’s no traffic — it’s such an amazing offering to have,” Mr Haupt said.“It’s not until you travel around and see other cities that you realise how lucky we are to be able to have a big house, yard and pool so close to the city.“I think New Farm is still undervalued signficantly …the change happening right now in Brisbane I beleive is a once in a lifetime, with likes of Howard Smith Wharves, Queens Wharf and the billions being spent on infrastructure.”From Townsville to Toowoomba and Brisbane to Bundaberg, here are the biggest home sales of 2018:TOP 20 RESIDENTIAL SALES OF 2018 IN BRISBANE Address Sale price1. 106 Virginia Ave, Hawthorne $11.129m2. 27 Sutherland Ave, Ascot $11m3. 33 Maxwell St, New Farm $8.5m4. 36 Needham St, Fig Tree Pocket $7.5m5. 1A Eldernell Tce, Hamilton $7.25m6. 150 Adelaide Street East, Clayfield $7m7. 5/81 Moray St, New Farm $6.5m8. 8 Sentinel Court, Cleveland $5.25m9. 17 Ningana St, Fig Tree Pocket $5.1m10. 19 Lawes St, Hamilton $5m11. 127 Laurel Ave, Chelmer $5m12. 16 Scott St, Hawthorne $4.875m13. 27 Sutton St, Chelmer $4.83m14. 3501/140 Alice St, Brisbane City $4.5m15. 58 Retreat St, Bridgeman Downs $4.42m16. 32 Teneriffe Dr, Teneriffe $4.405m17. 100 Oriel Rd, Clayfield $4.35m18. 34 Satinwood Ct, Bardon $4.275m19. 24 Ascot St, Ascot $4.25m20. 405 Brisbane Corso, Yeronga $4.2m(Source: CoreLogic) Players at the prestige end of Brisbane’s property market are hailing 2018 as one of the best in years, with demand from interstate migrants fuelling more sales above the $4 million mark. The sale of this property at 13 Gibbons Ct, Agnes Water, was the biggest sale in the Gladstone region in 2018.TOP 5 SALES OF 2018 IN BUNDABERGAddress Sale price1. 24 Miller St, Bargara $1.45m2$1,200,000Feb-18Unit513ESPLANADEBARGARA3$1,000,000Jun-18House30THEODOLITE CREEKDRIVEWOODGATE4$965,000Mar-18Unit50247ESPLANADEBARGARA5$900,000Feb-18House193WOONGARRA SCENICDRIVEBARGARA(Source: CoreLogic) This property at 106-110 Virginia Ave, Hawthorne, was the biggest residential sale of 2018.The luxurious property at 106 Virginia Avenue was owned by energy executive Shaun Scott and fetched more than $11 million.That was closely followed by the sale of the Ascot home of Domino’s Pizza boss Don Meij for $11 million. This mansion at 21-23 Webb Rd, Sunshine Beach, sold for the highest price in Queensland in 2018.TOP 20 SALES OF 2018 ON THE GOLD COASTAddress Sale price1. 9 Hedges Ave, Mermaid Beach $12m2. 105 Hedges Ave, Mermaid Beach $11.6m3. 3250/23 Ferny Ave, Surfers Paradise $9.5m4. 8 Marseille Court, Bundall $9m5. 31 The Corso, Surfers Paradise $8.8m6. 2230 Arnold Palmer Dr, Hope Island $6.5m7. 7001/4 The Esplanade, Surfers Paradise $6.5m8. 2 First Ave, Broadbeach $6m9. 57 Woodgees St, Currumbin $5.6m10. 6/3533 Main Beach Pde, Main Beach $5.6m11. 504 The Esplanade, Palm Beach $5.5m12. 4/3565 Main Beach Pde, Main Beach $5.5m13. 46 Knightsbridge Pde East, Paradise Pt $5.4m14. 31 Buccaneer Ct, Surfers Paradise $5.3m 15. 150/59 Pacific St, Main Beach $5.3m16. 16 Westminster Ct, Paradise Point $5.28m17. 7 Knightsbridge Pde West, Paradise Pt $5.275m18. 702/252 Hedges Ave, Mermaid Beach $5.25m19. 50 Admiralty Dr, Surfers Paradise $5.2m20. 2623 Virginia Dr, Hope Island $5.05m(Source: CoreLogic) An aerial view of North Ward in Townsville, where Clive Palmer bought a unit in 2018.TOP 5 SALES OF 2018 IN MACKAYAddress Sale price1. 49 Logan Cres, Erakala $1.4m2$1,310,000Mar-18House58PALM RIDGEDRIVERICHMOND3$1,200,000Aug-18House54ADMIRALDRIVEDOLPHIN HEADS4$1,200,000Aug-18House22IAN WOODDRIVEDOLPHIN HEADS5$1,089,000Aug-18House43MANGOAVENUEEIMEO(Source: CoreLogic) This house at 9 Hedges Ave, Mermaid Beach, was the biggest sale on the Gold Coast in 2018.TOP 10 SALES OF 2018 IN TOOWOOMBAAddress Sale price1. 11 Old Toll Bar Rd, East Toowoomba $2.95m2. 7 Bridge St, Mount Lofty $2.9m3. 1 Mayes St, East Toowoomba $1.9mMore from newsParks and wildlife the new lust-haves post coronavirus14 hours agoNoosa’s best beachfront penthouse is about to hit the market14 hours ago4. 11 Bridge St, Mount Lofty $1.8m5. 41 Campbell St, East Toowoomba $1.55m6. 92 Campbell St, East Toowoomba $1.45m7. 10 Spring St, Middle Ridge $1.35m8. 2 Sinclair St, East Toowoomba $1.335m9. 43 Curtis St, East Toowoomba $1.302m10. 30 East St, Redwood $1.25m(Source: CoreLogic) The sale of this house at 11 Old Toll Bar Rd, East Toowoomba, was the biggest in Toowoomba in 2018.TOP 10 SALES OF 2018 IN CAIRNSAddress Sale price1. 22 Brindabella Quay, Trinity Park $2.65m2. 6 Kingfisher Close, Earlville $2.35m3. 1402/141 Abbott St, Cairns City $2.35m 4. 7 Fig Tree Dr, Caravonica $2.1m 5. 70 Falcon St, Bayview Heights $1.8m 6. 81 Harbour Dr, Trinity Park $1.55m7. 26 Brindabella Quay, Trinity Park $1.53m8. 52 Kewarra St, Kewarra Beach $1.525m9. 237 Taripla Plc, Trinity Beach $1.5m10. 11 Marina Quay, Trinity Park $1.5m(Source: CoreLogic) The sale of this property at 106-110 Virginia Ave, Hawthorne, was the biggest in Brisbane last year.TOP 20 SALES OF 2018 ON THE SUNSHINE COASTAddress Sale price1. 21-23 Webb Rd, Sunshine Beach $18m2. 46 Seaview Tce, Sunshine Beach $15.2m3. 2 Belmore Tce, Sunshine Beach $14m4. 5 Allambi Rise, Noosa Heads $11.2m5. 11/37 Hastings St, Noosa Heads $7.2m6. 17 The Esplanade, Sunshine Beach $6.25m7. 4/63 River Esplanade, Mooloolaba $5.85m8. 3/63 River Esplanade, Mooloolaba $5.58m9. 52 Mossman Court, Noosa Heads $5.2m10. 36 Seaview Tce, Sunshine Beach $5.2m11. 29 Mooloolah Island, Minyama $5.15m12. 1 Natasha Ave, Noosa Heads $5m13. 15 Webb Rd, Sunshine Beach $5m14. 42 Seaview Tce, Sunshine Beach $5m15. 39 Wyuna Dr, Noosaville $4.85m16. 15 Minyama Island, Minyama $4.6m17. 63 Witta Circle, Noosa Heads $4.45m18. 1001/87 Mooloolaba Esp, Mooloolaba $4.4m19. 17/4 Quamby Plc, Noosa Heads $4.3m20. 430 Sunrise Rd, Tinbeerwah $4.25m(Source: CoreLogic) Clive Palmer paid $12m for this home at 9 Hedges Ave, Mermaid Beach.He also splashed his cash on the Brisbane home of the founder of the collapsed Linc Energy, Peter Bond — paying $7.5 million for the riverfront estate at 36 Needham St, Fig Tree Pocket.But the biggest home sale of 2018 in the Queensland capital was a riverfront home in Hawthorne with a tennis court, two swimming pools, a putting green and a private jetty. The sale of the seven-bedroom, eight-bathroom property set a new record for the entire Sunshine Coast region when it was sold by IT entrepreneur Daniel Wallis.Just streets away, also in Sunshine Beach, former tennis star Pat Rafter’s beachfront home at 46 Seaview Terrace sold for $15.2 million to Betty’s Burger founder David Hales. This house at 49 Logan Cres, Erakala, was the most expensive home sold in Mackay in 2018.TOP 5 SALES OF 2018 IN ROCKHAMPTONAddress Sale price1. 3 Athelstane St, The Range $1.37m2$940,000Apr-18House5AATHELSTANESTREETTHE RANGE3$870,000Oct-18House58SNEDDONROADLIMESTONE CREEK4$865,000Mar-18House69BOONGARYROADGRACEMERE5$860,000Feb-18House92ALBERTSTREETTHE RANGE(Source: CoreLogic)TOP 5 SALES OF 2018 IN GLADSTONEAddress Sale price1. 13 Gibbons Ct, Agnes Water $1.125m2$840,000Aug-18H11ORTONCOURTSEVENTEEN SEVENTY3$800,000Jun-18H584CAPTAIN COOKDRIVESEVENTEEN SEVENTY4$785,000May-18H7MALLARDCOURTSOUTH GLADSTONE5$765,000Aug-18H543HADDOCKDRIVEO’CONNELL(Source: CoreLogic) This house at 24 Miller St, Bargara, sold for the highest price in the Bundaberg region in 2018.TOP 5 SALES OF 2018 IN FRASER COASTAddress Sale price1. 17/558 Charlton Esp, Urangan $1.29m 2. 389 Oregan Creek Rd, Toogoom $1.25m 3. 107 Esplanade, Point Vernon $1.035m4. 511/569 Charlton Esp, Urangan $950,000 5. 22 Neisler Ct, Kawungun $930,000(Source: CoreLogic) This property at 21-23 Webb Rd, Sunshine Beach, fetched the highest price for a residential property in Queensland in 2018. THEY’RE jawdropping, dripping in luxurious features and have sold for more money than most people can dream of.The top home sales on the record for 2018 in Queensland have been revealed and one buyer stands out from the crowd.Former federal politician and billionaire businessman Clive Palmer splurged more than $22 million on property across the state last year, including a beachfront mansion on the Gold Coast, a riverfront Brisbane estate and a unit in Townsville.