What does a 40

Full-time employment basically means a 40-hour week

With its judgment of March 25, 2015 (AZ: 5 AZR 602/13), the Federal Labor Court ruled that an employment relationship in which the employee is employed "full-time" is to be interpreted as meaning that regular working hours of an average of 40 hours per week as agreed applies.

The case: The employee is employed by the employer as a bus driver. His employment contract includes an agreement that he will be employed full-time. The employment contract does not specify how many hours per day or per week have to be worked.

For the months from June 2011 to March 2012, the employee claims remuneration for overtime, which resulted from the fact that in these months he sometimes exceeded the usual 40 hours per week.

The employer, on the other hand, submits that no overtime was incurred, since the employee owes the working hours according to the employment contract that he needs to perform the work.

In the first instance, the worker's lawsuit was unsuccessful. In response to the employee's appeal, the state labor court partially upheld the complaint. The opposing appeal by the employer before the Federal Labor Court was unsuccessful.

The contracting parties have not agreed on the specific scope of working hours through the agreed clause “The employee is employed full-time”. Hence the clause had to be interpreted. According to the Federal Labor Court, an employee understands full-time employment and taking into account a five-day week of eight hours each a 40-hour week. Any additional weekly working hours must be specifically agreed. However, since the employment contract does not contain any regulation, the Federal Labor Court has considered a working time of 40 hours per week to be agreed. Insofar as the employee can prove the claimed number of overtime hours worked and this has also been left by the employer, he can demand the required overtime remuneration.

Note: The ruling of the Federal Labor Court shows that the scope of the working hours owed should be specifically determined in employment contracts so that regular working hours are not claimed later as any overtime.