Labor law is divided into individual labor law, which deals with the legal relationships between employers and employees, and collective labor law, which deals with the legal relationships between trade unions and works councils on the one hand and employers’ associations and employers on the other.
The starting point in labor law is the employment contract, which is concluded through an agreement between employer and employee. This agreement is usually concluded in writing, but this is not mandatory under labor law. The central figure in labor law is, above all, the employee, who enjoys special protection due to his personal dependence on the employer.
Labor law is regulated in a large number of laws and parts of laws, in particular Sections 611 ff. of the Civil Code, KSchG, BUrlG, TzBfG, ArbSchG, BetrVG, TVG. In addition, many of the rights and obligations of employees and employers in labor law arise from the company agreements between the employer and the works council and from the collective agreements between employers/employer associations and the unions.
However, since labor law is not conclusively regulated and in many areas of labor law there are no written regulations at all, many of the relevant principles in labor law arise from court rulings and decisions.