Digital Work Environment
Agile Structures / New Independence
Digital transformation is creating new forms of employment. By using internet platforms and apps, work processes can be outsourced to freelancers via crowdsourcing and economy on demand. However, these new opportunities also entail risks for the companies involved. Both the client and the platform operator bear the risk of the freelancer’s false self-employment and may be liable for social security contributions that have not been paid. Companies should prevent this risk by carefully drafting contracts and providing training for their employees. Similar problems arise with the introduction of agile working frameworks, such as project management through Scrum. Under German law, the use of temporary workers is strictly regulated. Cross-company cooperation with agile working frameworks may be considered a violation of these regulations. Besides, many German companies have works councils, which must be involved when designing work processes. It is therefore challenging to develop work processes that are both legal and efficient. We advise your company on organisational changes in accordance with German employment and social security law, and we involve the works councils purposefully so that organisational changes can be implemented quickly.
Flexible Workplaces / New Work
As a consequence of digital transformation, many employees no longer need to spend their entire working hours in the office. Therefore, employees are making greater use of the possibility of performing at least part of their work from home ("home office") or on the move ("mobile office"). Personally owned smart phones and laptops of the employees are increasingly used for the company's purposes ("Bring Your Own Device"). The distinction between working time and free time is blurring. The same applies to the distinction between personal and company’s data. These developments can lead to conflicts with the German working time regulation and European data protection law. Concepts of flexible workplace assignment gain recognition, e.g. desk-sharing, co-working spaces or open space models – not least in order to save costs. We are happy to advise you on the implementation of these modern forms of work, and we support the negotiations with your works council, which has to be legally involved in many issues (and should also be involved for reasons of acceptance).
Digital transformation is demanding digital competences of employees. Many traditional jobs disappear, new jobs will be created. As a consequence, there is a great need for further training and retraining. The employer does not necessarily have to bear all the costs of the training measures. Furthermore, employers who train their employees at high cost should take measures to prevent these employees from subsequently leaving for competing companies. We advise on the legal framework in order to develop the know-how of your staff and to keep this know-how within your company.
Digital transformation generates modern manufacturing methods. Generative manufacturing, forms of human-technology interaction as well as cyber-physical systems are examples for the digital factory or the industrial work of the future, respectively. We monitor the legal issues arising in this context, from civil law framework to works constitution law and the implementation of operational changes, by constantly synchronising current technical developments and the legal framework conditions. In this way, we provide legally secure support for a holistic development and innovations in the areas of work, people, technology, processes, value chains and production.