A decision of the German Federal Labour Court (Bundesarbeitsgericht) on 13 May 2015 considered an employer’s termination of an employment contract based on personal reasons (the employee’s long term sickness absence) where there was no prior operational integration management (betriebliches Eingliederungsmanagement). The German Federal Labour Court indicated that the requirement on the employer to prove its case in judicial process increases if an employer terminates an employment contract due to personal sickness and there has been no prior operational integration management .
The termination of an employment contract due to personal sickness is socially justified if there is a negative prognosis as regards the duration of the inability to work. Where there is such a negative prognosis and a consequent substantial impairment of operational interests, a balance of interests may lead to the conclusion that the operational impairments are a reasonably unacceptable burden for the employer. Thereby, a sickness of 1 3/4 years was regarded as sufficient justification.
According to the decision of the German Federal Labour Court there must be a process of operational integration management prior to the dismissal. The Court indicated that this is not a mandatory requirement for a dismissal, but nevertheless implementation of an operational integration management process is a very important indicator for the judges when considering the validity of a dismissal. If that procedure is missing, the requirement to prove whether there would have been an alternative option of another work place increase substantially.