After the Federal Labour Court had established by decision dated 14 October 2010 (docket no. 1 ABR 19/10) that the Collective Bargaining Association of Christian Unions for Temporary Work and Personnel Services Agencies [Tarifgemeinschaft Christlicher Gewerkschaften für Zeitarbeit und Personalserviceagenturen, CGZP] lacked bargaining capacity since the amendment of its by-laws on 9 October 2009, the Regional Labour Court of Berlin-Brandenburg (docket no. 24 TaBV 1285/12) established on 9 January 2012 that the CGZP had also lacked collective bargaining capacity in the past on the dates of the respective amendments of its by-laws on 29 November 2004, 19 June 2006 and on 9 July 2008 and was not in a position to conclude collective bargaining agreements at such times. Hence, it is now established that the CGZP has lacked collective bargaining capacity virtually completely since its creation.

The established lack of bargaining capacity of the CGZP has considerable consequences not only for the manpower suppliers using the collective agreements, but also for the hiring firms.

The German Statutory Pension Insurance Scheme [Deutsche Rentenversicherung Bund] is currently conducting social insurance audits at almost all manpower suppliers which applied the collective agreements of the CGZP either because they were originally bound by the collective agreements or simply through individual contractual references. The audit periods extend as far back as 1 January 2005. On the basis of fictitious equal-pay claims of the temporary agency workers (Sec. 11 para. 4 sentence 4 German Temporary Employment Act [Arbeitnehmerüberlassungsgesetz, AÜG] payment differences are now being calculated and the resulting additionally payable social insurance contributions assessed. The entire course of action taken by the Deutsche Rentenversicherung Bund is a matter of considerable controversy since its audits also and above all concern periods for which legally binding assessment notices have already been issued. Since manpower suppliers are increasingly becoming illiquid, manpower hirers must be aware of the statutory legal consequences of Sec. 28e para. 2 German Social Code Book IV [Sozialgesetzbuch IV, SGB IV]. According hereto, irrespective of a contractual regulation between the supplying and hiring enterprise, the hiring enterprise also bears a statutory liability for social insurance contributions of the temporary agency workers employed at its firm.

We assume that it will first take a decision of the Federal Social Court [Bundessozialgericht, BSG] to clarify the question of the permissibility of the Deutsche Rentenversicherung Bund's audit and the retraction of legally binding assessment notices for past periods in connection herewith as well as the unquestionably decisive question of the protection of the reliance of users of the CGZP collective agreements upon existing law. Until such time, both supplying and hiring enterprises should not just simply accept the assessment notices of the Deutsche Rentenversicherung Bund.

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