According to a recent ruling of the Landesarbeitsgericht Hessen (Regional Labour Court of Hesse), successive fixed-term employment contracts do not automatically give rise to a right to a permanent position (Az.: 2 Sa 1210/14).
GRP Rainer Lawyers and Tax Advisors in Cologne, Berlin, Bonn, Düsseldorf, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Munich, Stuttgart and London - www.grprainer.com/en conclude: Even 16 successive fixed-term employment contracts stretching over a period of 11 years do not necessarily justify the right to a permanent position. That was the finding of Hesse’s Landesarbeitsgericht (LAG) in its judgment of August 5, 2015.
In the case in question, the LAG had to rule on the effectiveness of a mathematician’s fixed-term employment contract with the University of Giessen. This was already the academic’s 16th fixed-term employment contract. The financial resources for this post had been made available for a limited period of time for the purposes of a project by the State of Hesse as a sponsor of the University. The mathematician then raised an action seeking to establish an indefinite employment relationship.
His claim was successful before the Arbeitsgericht Gießen (Labour Court of Giessen). The Arbeitsgericht held that fixing the term of the employment contract had not been lawful, stating that while the position was financed with third-party funds, the State of Hesse could not be viewed as a “third party” within the meaning of the statutory regulation concerning fixed-term employment of academic personnel.
However, Hesse’s Landesarbeitsgericht took a different view. With reference to the jurisprudence of the Bundesarbeitsgericht (German Federal Labour Court), it ruled that a post for academic staff associated with a specific project could have a fixed term if the position is financed with third-party funds which are not permanently available. The Court stated that this was the case here and was also permissible if the resources come from the State of Hesse as a sponsor of the University.
Furthermore, the LAG concluded that there had been no misuse of the legal possibilities for applying fixed-terms to employment relationships. An appeal to the Bundesarbeitsgericht (BAG) was not allowed.
The BAG had already ruled in April 2015 that successive fixed-term employment contracts are permissible if there is an objective reason for setting fixed terms (Az.: 7 AZR 310/13).
Lawyers who are competent in the field of employment law can be consulted on all matters pertaining to employment contracts.