An employee stands at a conveyor belt of the bottling plant of Coca-Cola Erfrischungstrinke AG
Photo: Jens Kalaene / picture alliance / dpa
The judgment of the European Court of Justice on the level of night work surcharges had been eagerly awaited, but the feared bang did not materialize.
Two Coca-Cola employees had sued.
The collective bargaining agreement for the soft drinks industry stipulates that irregular night work is remunerated with a supplement of 50 percent, but regular night work is only remunerated with an additional 20 percent.
The higher allowance for irregular night work is justified by the fact that it is even more stressful for those affected because it can hardly be planned.
The employees found this unfair and went to court.
The case was finally referred from the Federal Labor Court to the Court of Justice of the EU (Case C-258/21) because the courts are repeatedly concerned with the fundamental question of the permissibility of different night surcharges.
Almost 400 appeals are pending before the tenth senate of the Federal Labor Court, which deal with the amount of collectively agreed surcharges for hours worked in night shifts.
The Court of Justice of the EU now had to answer the question of whether a collective agreement that provides for different levels of night supplements is compatible with European law.
The result: The EU directive does contain provisions on night work, for example on duration and rhythm, health protection and safety.
However, it does not regulate the remuneration of workers for night work and 'consequently does not impose any specific obligation on the Member States in relation to the facts at issue in the main proceedings'.
The case is now going back to the Federal Labor Court.