Germany: Betriebliches Eingliederungsmanagement Keine Formelle Voraussetzung Für Die Ausübung Des Direktionsrechts

Last Updated: 3 May 2018
Article by Andreas Seidel
Most Popular Article in Germany, May 2018

Auch wenn der Arbeitgeber verpflichtet gewesen ist, ein betriebliches Eingliederungsmanagement (BEM) durchzuführen und diese Verpflichtung verkennt, führt dessen Fehlen nicht dazu, dass eine arbeitgeberseitig ausgesprochene Versetzung des Arbeitnehmers aufgrund des Fehlens des BEM unwirksam ist. Das hat der 10. Senat des Bundesarbeitsgerichts nun klargestellt.

BAG, Urteil v. 18.10.2017 – 10 AZR 47/17

Der Kläger, der seit dem Jahre 1991 durchgehend, seit 2005 zudem in Nachtschicht, bei der Beklagten beschäftigt ist, war in den Jahren 2013 sowie 2014 jeweils an mindestens 35 Tagen arbeitsunfähig erkrankt, im Jahre 2015 an 30 Tagen. Im März 2015 fand ein sogenanntes Krankenrückkehrgespräch mit Beteiligten der Beklagten sowie dem Kläger statt, welches nicht die Voraussetzungen für ein BEM erfüllte. Noch am selben Tag ordnete die Beklagte an, dass der Kläger ab dem 07. April 2015 seine Arbeit in Wechselschicht erbringen sollte. Dies teilte die Beklagte dem Betriebsrat durch ein auf den 07. April 2015 datiertes Formular Umsetzungsbenachrichtigung von Mitarbeitern an den Betriebsrat" unter der Begründung mit, dass der Kläger aufgrund seiner hohen Krankheitszeiten in Wechselschicht leichter einsetzbar sei. Der Kläger hat die Auffassung vertreten, diese Versetzung von der Nacht- in die Wechselschicht sei unwirksam, da er einen Anspruch darauf habe, dass er in der Nachtschicht beschäftigt werde. Die Wechselschicht sei gesundheitlich viel belastender für ihn, da sein Körper sich auf die Nachtschicht eingestellt habe. Seine Erkrankungen stünden ohnehin nicht im Zusammenhang mit einem Tätigwerden in der Nachtschicht. Zudem sei das Berufen auf seinen Gesundheitszustand bereits deswegen unzulässig, da die Beklagte nicht vorab ein BEM durchgeführt habe. Der Kläger verfolgte mit der Klage das Ziel, die Beklagte zu verpflichten, ihn wieder in der Nachtschicht einzusetzen, hilfsweise feststellen zu lassen, dass die Versetzung in die Wechselschicht rechtswidrig und daher rechtsunwirksam sei. Die Beklagte hat Klageabweisung beantragt. Sie vertrat die Auffassung, dass die Umsetzung von ihrem Direktionsrecht gedeckt sei. Grund der Weisung war die Befürchtung, dass der weitere Einsatz in der Nachtzeit der Gesundheit des Klägers nicht zuträglich wäre. Ein BEM habe sie nicht durchführen müssen, da zu keinem Zeitpunkt die Absicht bestand, dem Kläger zu kündigen.

Das Arbeitsgericht hat die Klage abgewiesen, das Landesarbeitsgericht gab dem Kläger in der Berufungsinstanz Recht. Die hiergegen eingelegte Revision seitens der Beklagten hatte Erfolg.

Nach Ansicht des Bundesarbeitsgerichts stellt ein BEM keine formelle Voraussetzung einer Versetzung dar. Einzig entscheidend sei, dass die Weisung des Arbeitgebers unter Würdigung der Umstände des Einzelfalls erfolgt sei und billigem Ermessen entspreche. Diese Klarstellung seitens des Bundesarbeitsgerichts war deswegen notwendig gewesen, da die Vorinstanz die Auffassung vertreten hatte, dass die bloße Erwartung, dass BEMe Maßnahme positive Effekte für die Gesundheit erziele und sich demzufolge auch auf die Arbeitsfähigkeit des Klägers auswirke, ohne Durchführung eines BEM kein berechtigtes Interesse für die Ausübung des Direktionsrechts darstelle. Denn das BEM, so das LAG, stelle insgesamt ein milderes und geeigneteres Mittel dar, um das von der Beklagten gewünschte Ziel zu erreichen. Zwar wäre auch nach Ansicht des Bundesarbeitsgerichts die Beklagte zur Durchführung eines BEM verpflichtet gewesen. Das Unterlassen habe jedoch keinerlei Einfluss auf das Direktionsrecht und dessen Ausübung seitens der Beklagten, selbst wenn die Beklagte die Weisung mit gesundheitlichen Aspekten des Klägers begründet. Entscheidend allein ist, dass die Weisung insgesamt dem billigen Ermessen im Sinne von § 106 Absatz 1 GewO und § 315 Absatz 1 BGB entspräche. Hierzu habe das LAG jedoch keine Feststellungen getroffen, so dass das Bundesarbeitsgericht in der Sache kein abschließendes Urteil fällte, sondern die Sache an das LAG zurückverwies. 

Anmerkungen:

Die Entscheidung des Bundesarbeitsgerichts ist zu begrüßen. Denn die Auffassung des LAG stellt einen nicht gerechtfertigten Eingriff in das Direktionsrecht des Arbeitgebers dar. Dieses ist gerade dadurch geprägt, dass es einseitig seitens des Arbeitgebers ausgeübt wird und insbesondere – in der Regel – nur den Grenzen des billigen Ermessens unterworfen ist. Wenn die Wirksamkeit von Weisungen zukünftig –  im Zusammenhang mit krankheitsbedingten Umständen des Arbeitnehmers –  davon abhängig wäre, ob dieser durch ein BEM zuvor beteiligt worden ist, wäre das Direktionsrecht in diesem Fall ausgehöhlt. Zudem ist die Entscheidung der Vorinstanz auch aus einem anderen Aspekt fragwürdig. Wenn selbst die Wirksamkeit einer krankheitsbedingten Kündigung nicht zwingend von der Durchführung eines BEM abhängt, weshalb sollte das gerade in Bezug auf eine – innerhalb eines bestehenden Arbeitsverhältnisses – ausgesprochene Weisung der Fall sein? Die Beantwortung dieser Frage hat das Bundesarbeitsgericht dankenswerter Weise obsolet werden lassen.

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