Apply for approval of a derogation from the rules on rest periods
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Unter bestimmten Voraussetzungen kann das Amt für Arbeitsschutz auf Antrag von arbeitszeitrechtlichen Vorschriften abweichende Ruhezeiten bewilligen.
In the following constellations, you can apply to the State Office for Environmental Protection and Occupational Safety for approval of a deviation from the working time regulations on rest periods, according to which employees must have an uninterrupted rest period of at least eleven hours after the end of their daily working hours:
Section 15 Paragraph 1 No. 3 Working Hours Act (ArbZG):
In the public sector, the State Office for Environmental Protection and Occupational Safety and Health can authorize a length and location of rest periods in the public sector that deviate from the regulations on working hours (Sections 5 and 11 (2) of the Working Hours Act) if employees are employed on standby, on-call duty and on-call duty .
Public service are the administrations and companies of the federal government, the federal states, the municipalities and other corporations, institutions and foundations under public law. These include federal and state ministries, their subordinate authorities, the administrations of the district governments or regional councils, other authorities and the administrations of the municipalities.
Businesses and companies in which the public sector holds the majority, but which, like any other company, operate in a market economy (fiscal companies), cannot receive an exemption permit.
Section 15 Paragraph 1 No. 4 Working Hours Act (ArbZG):
A different rest period can also be granted in shift operations in order to be able to carry out a regular weekly shift change.
The exemption is only permitted twice within three weeks and applies to the rest period after work on weekdays as well as after work on Sundays and public holidays.
You are not entitled to an exemption. The decision of the State Office for Environmental Protection and Occupational Safety is made at its discretion. Within the framework of this decision, the interests of protecting the safety and health of employees and the operational interests of the employer are weighed up.
  • for an exceptional permit according to Section 15, Paragraph 1, No. 3 of the Working Hours Act (ArbZG):
    • Precise information on the activity, number of employees for whom a permit is to be issued and the design of the on-call plans
    • Contact person with contact details
· Risk assessment (particularly with regard to mental stress due to the different location of the rest time)
· Opinion of the company doctor
Opinion of the works council (if available)
· Evidence that flexible deployment of the employees must be necessary either for reasons of public safety and order or for the provision of services of general interest
· Schedules for night shifts, from which in particular the break options are evident
- for an exceptional permit according to Section 15, Paragraph 1, No. 4 of the Working Hours Act (ArbZG):
· Precise information on the activity, number of employees for whom a permit is to be issued and the design of the shift schedules, contact persons with contact details
· Risk assessment (particularly with regard to mental stress due to the different rest times)
· Opinion of the company doctor
Opinion of the works council (if available)
· Evidence that a regular weekly shift change is made possible by the different rest periods
· Schedules for night shifts, from which in particular the break options are evident

Preconditions

· for an exceptional permit according to Section 15, Paragraph 1, No. 3 of the Working Hours Act (ArbZG): An exceptional permit can only be considered if the employees are employed with readiness for work, on-call duties and on-call duty in the public sector. The approval must take into account the special features of a corresponding claim in the public service. These special features are characterized by the fact that flexible deployment of the employees must be necessary either for reasons of public safety and order or for the provision of services of general interest.
· for an exceptional permit according to Section 15, Paragraph 1, No. 4 of the Working Hours Act (ArbZG): An exceptional permit can only be considered for shift operations that want to enable a regular weekly shift change. Permission can only be granted twice within 3 weeks.
The approval of a different rest period depends in both cases on the respective circumstances of the individual case. The decisive factor is that the health of the employees is not impaired. An exceptional permit can only be granted if, in the context of a weighing up of the protection of the safety and health of the employees and the operational interests of the employer, the latter prevail.

Hints

To simplify communication and to speed up the process, you should name a contact person in your company when submitting the application and provide their contact details.
§ 15 Working Hours Act (ArbZG)
https://www.gesetze-im-internet.de/arbzg/__15.html
  • Since the exemption can only be granted upon application, you must submit a corresponding application to the State Office for Environmental Protection and Occupational Safety and enclose all the documents required for a decision on your application.
  • The documents you submit will be checked for completeness and consistency and additional documents may be requested.
  • If you meet all the requirements, the permit can be granted. You will then receive a corresponding notification of approval.
  • If the requirements are not met, a negative decision will be issued.

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