LABOUR LAW NOTES

In Germany, the German labor law governs the legal relations between workers and employers. Since usually people working on a movie production are engaged for the production only, in Germany exist laws and regulations beyond the German Labor Law which should be observed by foreign production companies.

  1. 1
    Productions with German Filmmakers

    Rest Periods and Breaks
    The Working Hours Act specifies that for production workers’ breaks established in the Working Time Act (Working Time Act § 4 breaks) and after completion of the working time an uninterrupted rest period of at least 11 hours are to granted. (Working Time Act § 5 rest).

    Employment on Sundays and Public Holidys
    On Sundays and public holidays, employees may not be used; however, there are exceptions for film production (§ 10 of the Working Hours Act). In the cases mentioned below, workers may be used for production, without submitting an application to the competent authority:

    • in case the director, actor, or other staff (usually free-lanced employees or freelance) are available on Sundays or public holidays only, provided, that the filming has begun on a weekday,
    • in case competent authorities allow filming on Sundays or public holidays only because of public safety interest,
    • daily recordings of events taking place on Sundays and public holidays only.

    For Sundays, a substitute day off must be granted within a period of two weeks including the respective Sunday; for public holidays the period shall be eight weeks; free-lanced employees and freelancers are exempt from this requirement (§ 11 Working Hours Act).

    For further information and the Collective Agreement for Production Workers please see www.connexx-av.de

    Frankfurt-based production companies address their inquiries and requests to:

    Regierungspräsidium Darmstadt
    Abteilung für Arbeit und Umwelt Frankfurt
    Gutleutstrasse 114
    60327 Frankfurt
    T: + 49 69 20 714 0
    F: + 49 69 27 14 59 51
    www.rp-darmstadt.de
     

    All other German companies submit their applications to the competent authorities in their state and possibly inform the competent authority for Frankfurt by copy.

  2. 2
    Production with Filmmakers from Abroad
    Filmmakers who are not citizens of EU countries, plus Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland need both, a residence permit and a work permit. Bulgarian and Romanian citizens need a transition period before they can rely on the fundemental European free movement of workers. During this transition period – max until December 31st, 2013 – Bulgarian or Romanian workers need a permit from the Federal Employment Agency and may be employed only if they have such a permit.

    According to the Immigration Law, third-country citizens who are sent as part of foreign productions do not practice a gainful employment, provided the duration of their activity does not exceed the period of three months within the course of 12 months(see § 7 No. 2 of the Employment Ordinance). If up to three months no visa is needed, these citizens may exercise their activities without a German Residence Permit (see § 16 of the Employment Ordinance and Regulation 17 of the Residence Ordinance). This also applies to a similar free-lance employment. Here it is important that the phrase “three months within twelve months” relates to the type of work, i.e. during the three months mentioned it is possible to work for various productions. However, if an activity is planned for more than three months, a German Residence Permit will be required from the first day of work.

    For detailed information please contact the Bundesagentur für Arbeit.

    Residence Permit
    For queries and applications regarding Residence Permits please contact:

    Ausländerbehörde
    Ordnungsamt
    Rebstöckerstrasse 4
    60326 Frankfurt am Main
    T: +49 69 212 42485
    F: 49 69 212 422216
    E-Mail: auslaenderbehoerde@stadt-frankfurt.de
     

    and nationswide:

    Auswärtiges Amt
    T: + 49 30 18 17 0 (24-Stunden-Service)
    F: + 49 30 18 17 3402
    www.auswaertiges-amt.de
     

    Work Permits
    For queries and applications regarding work permits please contact the competent authority for film crews in Frankfurt:

    Bundesagentur für Arbeit
    Zentrale Auslands- und Fachvermitlung
    T: + 49 69 2171 2262 
    T: +49 69 2171 2284
    T: +49 69 2171 2286
    E-Mail: zav-frankfurt.ae@arbeitsagentur.de
    www.arbeitsagentur.de
    www.zav.de
     

    for artists, the following agency is responsible nationwide:

    Bundesagentur für Arbeit
    Zentrale Auslands- und Fachvermitlung
    T. + 49 228 713 1316
    E-Mail: zav.amz-kuenstler@arbeitsagentur.de
    www.arbeitsagentur.de
    www.zav.de
     
    Ausländerbehörde
    Ordnungsamt
    Rebstöckerstrasse 4
    60326 Frankfurt am Main
    T: +49 69 212 42485
    F: 49 69 212 422216
    E-Mail: auslaenderbehoerde@stadt-frankfurt.de
  3. 3
    Working with Children and Young People
    There are very strict laws for working with children in Germany. As a matter of principle, a special permit must be obtained by the production company from the competent authorities. The exemption is temporary and can be revoked at any time. It specifies the duration and location of employment plus periods of rest and the time spent on the set. It may also contain additional conditions and obligations. In principle, the competent Youth Welfare Office as well as the legal guardian have to agree, a medical certificate must be presented and evidence that precautions are taken to ensure that protection measures have been arranged for, care and supervision are granted, the mandatory time off will be given and the school progress is guaranteed.

    Frankfurt-based production companies address their inquiries and requests to:

    Regierungspräsidium Darmstadt
    Abteilung für Arbeit und Umwelt Frankfurt
    Gutleutstrasse 114
    60327 Frankfurt
    T: + 49 69 20 714 0
    F: + 49 69 27 14 59 51
    www.rp-darmstadt.de
     

    All other German companies submit their applications to the competent authorities in their state and possibly inform the competent authority for Frankfurt by copy.

  4. 4
    Working with Animals
    Filming with animals is subject to approval (Animal Welfare Act § 11.IS1 No. 3b of the Animal Welfare Act) in Germany. In Frankfurt Amtstierärztlicher Dienst, the official veterinarian office is responsible. This office is responsible for pet owners living in Frankfurt only as the responsibility of the owner of an animal is determined by his residence. For all others the permits must be obtained from the competent veterinary authorities at their respective domiciles and they should possibly inform the competent authority in Frankfurt by submitting a copy. In case an agency provides various animals from various holders, it must have the consent of each holder. An officially recognized expert has to be on location.

    Stadt Frankfurt am Main
    Amtstierärztlicher Dienst, Veterinärangelegenheiten, Ordnungsamt
    T: + 49 69 212 47099
    T: +49 69 212 47027
Print