Employment contracts according to NV Bühne are generally limited to one year. They are automatically extended by a further season unless one of the contracting parties gives notice of non-renewal in good time. In October and July, many colleagues are due for hearings and non-renewals.

The practice of non-renewal must be fundamentally changed, because the permanent fear that the contractual relationship will end for so-called "artistic reasons" is the ultimate breeding ground for abuse of power. 

Also, the fact that non-renewals are pronounced when there is a change of director without having to deal with the artistic expression or the social situation of the employees must be changed. 

An initial exchange with the German Stage Association will take place in April 2024.

The notice of non-renewal at the end of the season must have been issued by October 31 of the previous year; if an employee has been at a theater for more than eight seasons, by July 31 - please note: the date on which the letter is in the mailbox applies, regardless of actual receipt.

Before the employer can issue a notice of non-extension, it must hear the employee at least two weeks in advance - in a so-called hearing meeting. The employee must be invited to this in writing at least five working days in advance.

It is permitted to take a work colleague and/or a GDBA official with you to the hearing. This is also highly recommended. The accompanying persons must be announced to the employer in writing. The accompanying person should take as meticulous a record as possible of the hearing interview, in which the persons present and the reasons given by the employer for the non-renewal notification are recorded. It is not uncommon for constructive possibilities for the employee to remain in the workplace to be discussed with the employer during the hearing.

If the employer is not prepared to do this, artistic justifications or discussions on the part of the employee are often neither promising nor useful, because the employer does not have to engage in a discussion. In addition, the so-called artistic reasons for non-renewal notices only reflect the subjective assessment of the employer side, but usually cannot be reviewed in court.

If the examination of the circumstances of the specific notification of non-renewal in an individual case reveals that the notification of non-renewal may be incorrect, the employee has a four-month period in which to take legal action against the notification of non-renewal. This period begins on July 31 or October 31 and therefore ends either on November 30 or at the end of February.

If you have received an invitation to the hearing, please contact the chairperson of your local GDBA association immediately. If you have further questions regarding the hearing and the non-renewal notice, please contact the GDBA legal department directly. We will then discuss the case individually.

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