The expiry of a limitation period does not necessarily result in the forfeiture of claims if the employer neglects to inform the employee about circumstances which would have led to him making claims within the cut-off period, the State Labour Court of Düsseldorf (Landesarbeitsgericht Düsseldorf, docket number 10 Sa 1033/15) ruled on April 29, 2016.

The plaintiff was employed with the defendant as a sales person in the car sector for large customers. The employment contract included a reference to the framework tariff agreement for the motor vehicle trade in North-Rhine-Westphalia which provides for a cut-off period of one month. According to a works agreement, the plaintiff was entitled to a delivery bonus if he delivered the cars himself – which was always the case with large customers. In August 2014, the plaintiff found that he had not received any delivery bonus since January 2012 as he was required to enter information regarding the self-delivery in a system, which he, as the only sales person, had not done. The defendant was of the opinion that the claims were forfeited due to the cut-off period.

The State Labour Court of Düsseldorf decided that the defendant must pay the delivery bonus to the plaintiff. The cut-off period would, in this case, not result in the forfeiture of claims due to section 242 Civil Code (Bürgerliches Gesetzbuch, BGB). The defendant would have known about the plaintiff’s obvious error in not entering the information regarding self-deliveries in the defendant’s system. In this case, the employer was obliged to inform the employee about his error. Employers therefore cannot rely on cut-off periods in all cases.

On 25 May 2016 the Federal Labour Court (Bundesarbeitsgericht, docket number 5 AZR 298/15) ruled that employees on statutory insurance have a claim against their employer for continued remuneration during preventative outpatient care, if it is carried out with the approval of the social service provider in a facility for medical prevention or rehabilitation within …