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Collective agreements

July 20, 2011

Section 5 of the Collective Agreements Act enables the Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs to declare a collective agreement generally obligatory

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At the request of a party to a collective agreement, section 5 of the Collective Agreements Act (Tarifvertragsgesetz) enables the Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs to declare a collective agreement generally obligatory, under certain conditions and in agreement with a committee consisting of three representatives of each of the leading professional organisations of employers and employees.

Of the approximately 64,300 collective agreements entered in the wage register being as applicable, at present 460 of these are generally obligatory (233 original and 227 amended or supplemented collective agreements), of which 186 are (also) applicable in the new Federal Länder. Due to new declarations of general obligation and/or the expiry of generally applicable collective agreements, the entirety of generally obligatory collective agreements are subject to constant change.

The directory below contains the presently valid versions of all collective agreements that have been declared generally obligatory. The collective agreements are listed in the directory as valid until the full expiry of their general obligation is entered in the wage register.
General obligation is sometimes declared retroactively. Expiry of general obligation is sometimes not made known until a later date. In some cases, therefore, a collective agreement may not yet be listed in this directory even though its general obligation is later declared as per an earlier date. Similarly, there may be cases in which a collective agreement is still listed as valid and generally obligatory although its general obligation already expired at an earlier date.

Some declarations of general obligation are issued with restrictions or exceptions with regard to the scope or the content of the collective agreement.

It is therefore advisable - also because this directory cannot contain all of the details concerning each collective agreement - to request information for each case citing the applicable collective agreement and the specific period from:

Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs
Division IIIa3
53107 Bonn