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Germany. Equal opportunities
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GERMANY

Act to establish equality for men and women (Second Equality Act - 2. GleiBG). Dated 24 June 1994.          (Bundesgesetzblatt, 30 June 1994, No. 39, pp. 1406-1415.)


Table of contents

Article 1. Act on the advancement of women and the compatibility of marriage and occupation in the federal administration and in the federal courts (Advancement of Women Act - FFG)

Articles 2 to 6 [consequential amendments to legislation concerning the public service and employee representation].

Article 7. Amendment to the Civil Code

Article 8. Amendment of the Labour Courts Act

Article 9. Amendment of the Employment Act (Adjustment to European Community law)

Article 10. Act to protect employees against sexual harassment at the workplace (Protection of Employees Act)

Article 11. Act on the appointment and delegation of men and women to advisory bodies within the sphere of influence of the Federal Government (Federal Act on the composition of advisory bodies)

Articles 12 and 13 [Transitional provision and date of entry into force (1 September 1994).]


Article 1. Act on the advancement of women and the compatibility of marriage and occupation in the federal administration and in the federal courts (Advancement of Women Act - FFG)

Division 1.  General provisions

Section 1.  Scope.  This Act shall apply to persons employed in federal administrative bodies of the Republic and in federal corporations, establishments and foundations under the public law, and in federal courts. "Administrations" within the meaning of this Act shall include public enterprises managed under federally-owned administration, and other federal public undertakings.

Section 2.  Purpose of the Act.  In order to bring about equality for men and women in the federal administrations and courts specified under section 1, women shall be afforded advancement under the terms of this Act, with due attention to the precedence of suitability, capability and occupational performance (Article 33, subsection (2) of the Constitution). Another aim of such advancement is to increase the numbers of women taking into account the obligatory aims proposed, in so far as in certain areas women are employed in smaller numbers than men. In the same way, the compatibility of family and profession for both men and women shall be promoted.

Section 3.  Definitions.  (1)  "Employees" in this Act are permanent civil servants of both sexes, non-established civil servants, workers of both sexes including persons employed for purposes of training; and persons holding offices under the public law and judges of both sexes.

(2) "Family responsibilities" within the meaning of this Act exist when an employed person actually cares for or nurses at least one child under 18 years of age or another relative who, in the opinion of a doctor, is in need of care.

(3) "Areas" in this law are the individual salary, pay and wage groups, careers and specializations, and functions entailing managerial and directive duties within the department. The same shall apply to vocational training.

(4) "Functions entailing managerial and directive duties" include positions as presiding judge (male or female).

(5) "Departments" in this law are the individual authorities, administrative offices and operations in the administrations specified in section 1, together with federal courts; the authoritative text here is section 6, subsections (1), (2) and (4) of the Federal Staff Representation Act. For the definition of "head of department", the authority is section 7 of the said Act.


Division 2. Measures for advancement

Section 4.  Plan for the advancement of women.  (1)  The department shall issue a plan for the advancement of women every three years, with participation in the early stages of the women's representative. Within this period, the plan shall be adjusted every year in line with actual developments. It must describe the situation of female employees, evaluate previous advancement of women in individual areas and in particular, in order to increase the proportion of women, develop measures for bringing about necessary improvements in staffing and organization, within the limits of aims proposed and of a plan to be carried out in stages. The plan for the advancement of women shall not be taken into account with respect to appointments for judges (male and female) who are elected or cases where the Judges' Appointments Committee is involved in the appointment. The plan for the advancement of women may not contain personal data.

(2)  The plan for the advancement of women must also evaluate statistical data section 5 and note and justify existing differences in comparing the respective numbers of men and women in applications, appointments, promotions and further training in individual areas.

(3)  The three-year plan for the advancement of women and the annual updates shall be made public within the department.

(4)  Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (1), the plan for the advancement of women shall be prepared upon the application of the women's representative, under her direction and with the prompt cooperation of the department.

(5)  If the plan for the advancement of women has not been realized, the reasons for this shall be given when the annual adjustment is made and shall be contained in the next plan for the advancement of women, and shall also be submitted to the next highest department.

Section 5.  Statistical data.  (1)  The department shall compile statistics every year on the numbers of men and women in individual areas:

The statistical data shall be submitted annually to the supreme federal authorities by 30 September.

(2)  The Federal Government shall regulate by statutory instrument the individual aims to be proposed for assessing the statistical data, taking into account the statistics on the number of persons employed, in accordance with the Act on financial and employee statistics.

Section 6.  Advertisement of positions.  (1)  No vacancy may be advertised as being only for men or only for women, unless belonging to one or the other sex is an indispensable precondition for the job advertised. Advertisements shall be worded in such a way that women are also invited to apply. This shall apply in particular to positions in areas in which women are employed in smaller numbers than men.

(2)  Positions for managerial and directive duties shall also be advertised as part-time appointments, unless compelling departmental considerations forbid this.

Section 7.  Appointment, promotion, qualifications.  (1)  As long as women are employed in individual areas in smaller numbers than men, the department must increase the proportion of women under the terms of the obligatory aims proposed in the plan for the advancement of women and of corresponding staff planning, taking into account the prior importance of suitability, capability and performance:

Paragraph (i) above shall not apply if an election or the involvement of an electoral committee is prescribed for the appointment of a judge (male or female).

(2)  Absences from duty to take care of children or for family care may not adversely affect the assessment of suitability of men and women.

Section 8.  Further training.  (1)  The department shall encourage the further training of women by appropriate measures. In further training for introduction to work, promotion and adaptation, women shall normally be considered in accordance with their numbers in the target group for further training in each case.

(2)  Persons with family responsibilities (subsection 3(2)) must be appropriately enabled to take part in further training. In case of necessity additional programmes, appropriately organized both in space and time, shall be offered; and in case of need, child-minding facilities should be made available.

(3)  Further training courses which facilitate career advancement for women, and in particular courses which facilitate the reintegration of employees on lower-grade pay scales and employees on leave, shall be offered to an adequate extent; this will include when necessary offers of courses primarily for women.

(4)  Questions of equality of rights for men and women shall to be taken into account in programmes for employees in personnel administration and particularly in programmes for managers in other areas.

(5)  Women's representatives shall be given opportunity for further training.

(6)  Women shall be more intensively recruited as directors and consultants for further training programmes.

Section 9.  Adjustment of hours of work to family responsibilities.  Within the limits of the regulation of working hours, whether by law, collective agreement or other means, and feasibility within the department, employees with family responsibilities shall in individual cases be granted alterations of their daily and weekly hours of work in case of need.

Section 10.  Part-time employment.  (1)  The department must create an adequate number of part-time appointments (including appointments with managerial and directive duties), within the limits of the capacities of the department and as needed. In this regard care must be taken to ensure that employees of the department are not overburdened.

(2)  Applications for part-time appointments, including appointments with managerial and directive duties, from established civil servants with family responsibilities shall be dealt with under section 79(a) of the Federal Civil Service Act. In the event that an application is refused, the department must give its reasons in each individual case.

(3)  Part-time employees with family responsibilities who seek full-time employment should be given preferential consideration, taking into account suitability, capability and performance and subsection 7(2).

Section 11.  Leave of absence.  (1)  The department shall take appropriate measures in particular for employees on leave to make it easier to maintain contact with their occupation and to re-enter it. These measures shall include informing them of the further training programme and inviting them to participate in further training during or after leave.

(2)  Allowances or wages shall not be granted for participation in further training during leave. Necessary expenses shall be refunded (section 23, subparagraph (2) of the federal Act on travelling expenses shall apply as appropriate).

(3)  Employees on leave can assume the duties of persons who are sick or on leave, on their own application and with the consent of the department.

Section 12.  Prohibition of discrimination in the case of part-time employment or leave of absence on the grounds of family responsibilities.  (1)  Part-time employment may not prejudice professional advancement; treatment of part-time employees that differs from that of full-time employees shall be permissible only if justified by objective reasons. Part-time employment may not adversely affect work evaluation.

(2)  The above shall also apply in the case of leave granted to employees with family responsibilities; but shall not be applicable to regular equality of treatment in respect of periods of leave and part-time employment.

(3)  A delay in career advancement which results from leave taken in accordance with subsection (2) shall be appropriately taken into consideration in the case of promotion, if it has not already been compensated by an appointment made before the regular time.

(4)  Leave shall not adversely affect a position already attained in a promotion sequence.

Section 13.  Collective bargaining agreements.  Regulations for workers in accordance with sections 72(a) and 79(a) of the Federal Civil Service Act shall be subject to a collective bargaining agreement.

Section 14.  Report.  The Federal Government shall submit to the Federal Parliament every three years a progress report on the situation of women in the administrations and courts specified in section 1, and on the application of this Act. The federal ministries shall provide the necessary information for this purpose. The report shall not contain any data concerning individual persons.


Division 3. Women's representatives

Section 15.  Appointment.  (1)  In every department with a regular staff of at least 200 persons a women's representative shall be appointed from among the employees, either by previous advertisement or by secret ballot. If a majority of the female employees so choose, an election shall be held. The Federal Government shall establish by statutory instrument the procedure for this preliminary choice and for the holding of the election. If there are fewer than ten women regularly employed, the appointment of a women's representative may be disregarded.

(2)  In a department where there is no women's representative a confidential advisor shall be appointed as a confidante for the female employees and the responsible women's representative.

(3)  The person responsible for a department as referred to in subsection (2) shall be the women's representative in the next higher department.

(4)  Administrations with a wide area of business (e.g., the federal revenue administration, the federal administration of waterways and shipping and the federal armed forces) may be exempted from subsection (1), provided that they establish other appropriate conditions for the appointment and the work of women's representatives.

(5)  In so far as decisions in higher departments are taken for lower departments, the women's representative in a higher department shall consult the women's representatives and the confidential advisors in the lower departments. The women's representative in the supreme federal authority shall regulate the coordination of the women's representatives and confidential advisors in her area of work.

(6)  The women's representative shall be appointed in principle for three years, with the possibility of extension. The extension can also be made for a shorter period at her request. A decision concerning the extension must be preceded by a new internal advertisement.

Section 16.  Legal position.  (1)  The women's representative shall be a member of the administration. She shall be assigned in principle immediately to the directorate of the department. In the supreme federal authorities she may also be assigned to the directorate of the central division. The same shall apply in the area of public enterprises. The women's representative shall not be bound by directives in the performance of her function.

(2)  The women's representative shall be released from other activities in the department to the extent necessary for the proper performance of her tasks, given the type and extent of the department. If the area of her tasks is sufficiently extensive, the women's representative must be completely released from duty. The necessary staff and equipment shall be made available to her. This shall include arrangements for deputies.

(3)  The women's representative, her deputy and her assistants (men and women) shall be bound by the obligation of confidentiality with regard to the personal relationships of employees and to other confidential matters in the department, beyond the period of their appointment. The obligation of secrecy shall also apply to confidential advisors referred to under section 15.

Section 17.  Duties.  (1)  The women's representative shall have the duty to promote and supervise the application of this Act in the department. She shall participate in all measures in her department which affect questions of equality between men and women, compatibility of family and profession and improvement of the occupational situation of the women employed in the department. She must participate at an early stage in particular regarding:

(2)  The women's representative shall also promote, at her own initiative, the application of this Act, the improvement of the situation of women, and the compatibility of family and profession for men and women. Her duties shall also include counselling and support of women in individual cases with regard to promotion and removal of discrimination.

Section 18.  Rights.  (1)  The women's representative shall be informed fully and in good time for the performance of her duties. The documents necessary for this shall be submitted in good time and any information requested shall be given. Personnel files may be inspected by the women's representative only with the consent of the employee concerned.

(2)  The women's representative shall have the right to speak directly to the directorate of the department; she can convene and conduct meetings with its consent, and shall have the support of the directorate in the performance of her tasks.

(3)  The women's representative shall not be hindered in carrying out her obligations or discriminated against in the development of her career by reason of her activity. She shall enjoy the same safeguard against dismissal, transfer or posting as do the members of the personnel committee, regardless of the difference in their duties.

Section 19.  Right of complaint.  (1)  Violations by the department of the plan for the advancement of women, of this Act in general or against other provisions regarding equal treatment of men and women, can be the subject of a complaint by the women's representative to the directorate of the department. She shall be given a time-limit of seven working days after receiving the information, if she wishes to proceed against the measures that are the subject of the complaint.

(2)  A decision regarding the complaint shall be taken by the directorate of the department or, in the supreme federal authorities, by the assistant secretary who is an established civil servant with responsibility for personnel matters. The measures complained of and their execution shall be postponed for the period of decision. If the directorate considers the complaint to be justified, the measures and their consequences shall be rectified, and the results of the complaint shall be taken into consideration in cases of repetition. Otherwise the directorate of the department must give the women's representative its reasons for rejecting the complaint.

(3)  If the women's representative in a lower department considers a decision regarding a complaint to have been incorrect, she can, after informing the directorate of her own department in good time, ask the next higher department for a legal opinion and make this known in her own department, with due regard for the rules of the department and of the right to data protection. In both cases the written consent of the person immediately affected by the measure complained of shall be necessary when personal data is to be made public. The next higher department must grant requests for legal information. The reconsideration by the next higher department and the effect in law of the measure complained of shall be guided by the provisions in force, independently of this procedure.

Section 20.  Transitional provision.  The activity of a women's representative appointed at the time when this Act comes into force shall terminate, if she was elected, at the end of the period for which she was elected, and in principle by 31 December 1998 at the latest.


Articles 2 to 6 [consequential amendments to legislation concerning the public service and employee representation].


Article 7. Amendment to the Civil Code

The Civil Code in the revised version published in the Bundesgesetzblatt, Part III, Division No. 400­2, last amended by Article 1 of the Act of 24 June 1994 (Bundesgesetzblatt 1, p. 1322), shall be amended as follows:

Section 1.  Article 611(a) shall be amended as follows:

(a) Subsection (2) shall be worded as follows:

(b) After subsection (2) new subsections (3) to (5) shall be added as follows:

(c) The present subsection (3) shall be deleted.

Section 2.  In Article 611(b) the word "should" shall be replaced by "may".


Article 8. Amendment of the Labour Courts Act

After section 61(a) of the Labour Courts Act, in the version of 2 July 1979 (Bundesgesetzblatt 1, p. 8553, 1036), last amended by Article 8, subsection 8 of the Act of 24 June 1994 (Bundesgesetzblatt 1, p. 1325), section 61(b) shall be inserted as follows:

Section 61(b).  Special provisions for actions for discrimination on grounds of sex.  (1)  An action for compensation under section 611(a), subsection (2) of the Civil Code must be brought within three months after the claim has been put forward in writing.

(2)  If several applicants bring an action in court regarding a claim for compensation under section 611(a), subsection (2) of the Civil Code on the basis of discrimination in the establishment of an employment relationship, then the sum of the individual compensation shall be limited, on the application of the employer, to six months' wages, or to 12 months' wages, if the employer has carried out a uniform selection procedure for the purpose of establishing several employment relationships. In so far as the employer has already met claims for compensation, the maximum sum under sentence 1 shall be reduced correspondingly. In such a case, however, claims already met shall be taken into account only up to the sum which they would obtain in the event of an action brought in court. If the sums of compensation which the complainants should be awarded under section 611(a), subsection (2) of the Civil Code, exceed in total the maximum sum under sentences 1 to 3, the individual sums shall be reduced in the proportion in which their total stands to the maximum sum.

(3)  If the employer makes an application under subsection (2), sentence 1, the Labour Court to which the first action was brought shall alone be responsible for the other actions. Legal disputes shall be referred to this court ex officio; proceedings shall be combined for simultaneous hearing and decision.

(4)  On the employer's application the hearing shall not be held before six months have elapsed since the first action was brought.

(5)  In cases under section 611(a), subsection (5) of the Civil Code, subsections (1) to (4) shall be applied correspondingly only in enterprises which normally have up to 400 workers. For calculating claims under section 611(a), subsection (2) of the Civil Code, instead of the monthly wage, the difference shall be taken between the applicant's actual monthly wage and the monthly wage associated with professional advancement.


Article 9. Amendment of the Employment Act (Adjustment to European Community law)

Article 2 of the Employment Act (Adjustment to European Community law) of 13 August 1980 (Bundesgesetzblatt 1, p. 1305) shall read as follows:


Article 10. Act to protect employees against sexual harassment at the workplace (Protection of Employees Act)

Section 1.  Purpose, Scope.  (1)  The purpose of this Act is to maintain the dignity of men and women through protection against sexual harassment at the workplace.

(2) "Employees" within the meaning of this Act are:

Section 2.  Protection against sexual harassment.  (1)  Employers and managers shall be required to protect employees against sexual harassment at the workplace. This protection shall also include preventive measures.

(2) "Sexual harassment at the workplace" is any deliberate, sexually specific behaviour which offends the dignity of employees at the workplace. This shall include:

(3) Sexual harassment at the workplace is a violation of obligations under the contract of employment or a breach of work discipline.

Section 3.  Employees' right of complaint.  (1)  Employees affected shall have the right to complain to those responsible in the enterprise or the department if they feel that they have been sexually harassed, within the meaning of section 2, subsection (2) by their employer, by their manager, by other employees or by third parties at the workplace. The provisions under sections 84 and 85 of the Employees' Representation Act shall not be affected.

(2) The employer or the manager must investigate the complaint and take appropriate measures to prevent the harassment when detected from continuing.

Section 4.  Measures by the employer or manager; right to refuse performance.  (1)  In the event of sexual harassment:

(2) If the employer or manager fails to apply measures to prevent sexual harassment, or applies measures which are obviously inadequate, the employees who are harassed shall have the right to suspend their activity at the workplace concerned, without loss of wages or salary, for as long as this is necessary for their protection.

(3) The employer or manager may not discriminate against employees who have been subjected to harassment because they have defended themselves against sexual harassment and have exercised their rights in the prescribed manner.

Section 5.  Further training for persons employed in the public service.  In the area of professional training and further training of persons employed in the public service, the problem of sexual harassment at the workplace, legal protection for persons affected and the duty of the manager to intervene shall be taken into account. This shall apply particularly in the further training of persons employed in the personnel administration, of persons with managerial or directive duties, of instructors and of members of the personnel committee and of women's representatives.

Section 6.  Special regulations for members of the armed forces.  The provisions of the Army Act, the Military Disciplinary Code and the Military Grievance Code shall be unaffected for male and female members of the armed forces.

Section 7.  Publication of this Act.  This Act shall be placed or hung in an appropriate place in enterprises and departments for reference.


Article 11. Act on the appointment and delegation of men and women to advisory bodies within the sphere of influence of the Federal Government (Federal Act on the composition of advisory bodies)

Division 1. Aim and scope of the law

Section 1.  Purpose of the Act.  The Federal Government, and other authorities concerned with the procedure for appointing advisory bodies, shall be required to work, as provided in this Act, towards establishing or maintaining equal participation of men and women in advisory bodies.

Section 2.  Scope.  (1)  "Advisory bodies" within the meaning of this Act are boards of management, advisory committees, commissions, panels, administrative and supervisory boards, groups of colleagues and comparable groups irrespective of title, in so far as the Federal Government has the right to appoint (section 3, subsection (1)) and delegate (section 6) the members thereof.

(2) This Act shall not apply to the judicial authority or the German Federal Bank or to nomination of members of the Federal Government. It shall not apply to establishing the membership of an advisory body where an election procedure is provided for by statutory provisions or by the regulations of the body itself.


Division 2. Advisory bodies within the sphere of federal authority

Section 3.  Appointing agency, agencies with right of presentation.  (1)  The "appointing agencies" in the sense of this Division are the President, the Federal Government, a federal ministry or an authority subordinate to a ministry, a superior federal authority or a legal entity under the public law immediately under the federal authority, if these agencies establish directly, by an act of appointment, the membership of persons in an advisory body in their own sphere of affairs or in that of one of the other agencies specified in this subsection (an advisory body in the sphere of the federal authority). If the decision of the Federal Government is required for the appointment, such a decision shall be regarded as an act of appointment directly establishing membership within the meaning the first sentence of this subsection.

(2) Agencies with right of presentation within the meaning of this Division shall be:

which are entitled to nominate or to present persons as members of advisory bodies within the area of the federal authority.

Section 4.  Presentation procedure on appointment.  (1)  If an appointment is to be made on the basis of nomination or presentation by an agency with the right of presentation, the said agency shall nominate or present one woman and one man for each place allotted to it, in so far as persons of different sexes are available who possess the particular personal and occupational suitability and qualifications (double nomination).

(2) Double nomination can be omitted, if:

(3) If an agency nominates persons as members of an advisory body for which it is itself the appointing agency, the procedure under section 7 shall be applied instead of that under subsection (1).

(4) If the agency with the right of presentation is the Federal Government, the procedure specified in subsections (1) to (3) shall be applied correspondingly, within the federal ministries responsible or the federal chancellery responsible, to presentation to the Federal Cabinet.

Section 5.  Appointment.  In the appointment of members to advisory bodies within the sphere of the federal authority, the appointing agency must take both men and women into consideration, with the aim of ensuring equal participation of both. If the appointing agency is the Federal Government, the procedure specified in sentence 1 shall be applied correspondingly, within the federal ministries responsible, to presentation to the Federal Cabinet.


Division 3.  Advisory bodies outside the sphere of the federal authority

Section 6.  Secondment agency.  The secondment agency within the meaning of this Division is the Federal Government, a federal ministry or an authority subordinate to a federal ministry, a superior federal authority or a legal entity under the public law immediately under the federal authority, if such a legal entity is entitled to nominate or to present at least one person as a member of an advisory body outside the area of the federal authority.

Section 7.  Secondment.  (1)  If a federal ministry or an authority subordinate to it, a superior federal authority or a legal entity under the public law immediately under the federal authority is the secondment agency, presentations shall be submitted in writing to the person responsible for the decision respecting secondment. If the secondment agency is the Federal Government, the procedure specified in sentence 1 and in subparagraphs (2) and (3) shall be applied correspondingly, within the federal ministries responsible or the appropriate office of the Federal Chancellery responsible, to presentation to the Federal Cabinet.

(2) With regard to presentation, one man and one woman shall be nominated for each seat allotted to the delegating agency, in so far as persons of different sexes, with the particular personal and occupational suitability and qualifications, are available. Section 4, subsection (2), paragraphs (i) and (ii) shall apply correspondingly.

(3) In the delegation of members to advisory bodies outside the area of the federal authority, the delegating agency shall take appropriate account of men and women.


Division 4.  Implementing regulations, report of the advisory bodies

Section 8.  The Federal Government can, without the agreement of the Upper House of Parliament, issue regulations by statutory instrument regarding procedure for appointment, presentation and delegation.

Section 9.  Report of the advisory bodies.  The Federal Government shall present to Parliament during each legislative session a report on the proportion of women in important advisory bodies within the area of the federal authority and on the delegation of women to important advisory bodies outside the area of the federal authority. The report may not contain any personal data.


Articles 12 and 13 [Transitional provision and date of entry into force (1 September 1994).]



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