Apply for permission to derogate from the regulations on working time
Under certain conditions, the State Office for Environmental and Occupational Safety can, on request, grant working hours deviating from working time regulations, i.e. longer daily working hours.
With the approval of the State Office for Environmental and Occupational Safety, you can deviate to the approved extent from the regulations on working hours that must be complied with in principle. Such an exemption for longer daily working hours can be granted if the legal requirements are met and you submit a corresponding application.
A deviation from the regulations on working hours is possible in accordance with § 15 para. 1 no. 1 lit. a, no. 1 lit.b and no. 2 of the Working Time Act (ArbZG) for continuous shift operations, construction and assembly sites as well as seasonal and campaign operations.
For continuous shift operations, a longer daily working time can be granted in order to achieve additional free shifts. Additional free shifts exist if the extension of the working time makes more free contiguous days available for the employees concerned than before.
In the case of seasonal and campaign establishments, longer daily working hours may also be granted for the period of the season or campaign if the extension of the working time is compensated by a corresponding reduction at other times.
For reasons of health protection, daily working hours of more than twelve hours are generally not permitted for continuous shift operations as well as for seasonal and campaign operations.
For construction and assembly sites, a longer daily working time of more than eight hours can be granted without special requirements.
A personal appearance is not necessary for the submission of the application. You can submit the application in writing.
The extension of the daily working time must be compensated by a corresponding reduction in working time at other times.
You are not entitled to an exemption. The decision of the State Office for Environmental and Occupational Safety is made at its dutiful discretion. Within the framework of this Decision, a balance is struck between interests relating to the protection of the safety and health of workers and the industrial interests of the employer.
As a rule, the permit is granted for a limited period of time.
For all companies:
- Information on the activity
- Number of employees for whom a permit is to be issued
Contact person in the company with contact details
- Risk assessment (especially with regard to psychological stress due to longer working hours)
- Statement of the company doctor
- Opinion of the works council (if any)
In addition, in the case of continuous shift operations (§ 15 para. 1 no. 1 lit. a ArbZG)
- Duty/shift schedules that prove that the extension of working hours creates additional free shifts
- Schedules for day and night services/shifts, from which in particular the break possibilities are also apparent
Additionally for construction and assembly sites (§ 15 para. 1 no. 1 lit.b ArbZG)
- Information on the nature and severity of the work
- Organisation of working time
- Distance between place of work and place of residence
Duration of rest period at the place of residence
Additionally for seasonal and campaign businesses (§ 15 Abs. 1 Nr. 2 ArbZG)
- Information on season or campaign
- Organisation of working time
- Period in which working time is reduced
- Forms: none
- Online procedure possible: yes
- Written form requirement: no
- Personal appearance required: no
Upon request, an extension of the daily working time may be granted under the following conditions:
- For continuous shift operation, i.e. a company that works in several shifts around the clock, you can submit an application for approval of extended work periods if this is intended to achieve additional free shifts (§ 15 para. 1 no. 1 lit. a ArbZG). In addition to fully continuous operations, it also covers semi-continuously operating establishments.
To do this, you must prove that how and how many additional free shifts can be achieved in your company through the extended working time.
Since the purpose of granting the deviation from the regulations on working time in § 15 para. 1 no. 1 lit. a ArbZG is the achievement of additional free shifts, the approval can only be granted if the individual employee has more days off than without the extension of the daily working time.
- You can submit an application for approval of extended working hours for construction and assembly sites if, for.B example, the place of employment is far away from the place of residence of the employees and the employees are guaranteed a correspondingly longer rest period at the place of residence for the extended working time on the construction or assembly site (§ 15 para. 1 no. 1 lit.b
Construction sites are temporary or mobile workplaces where building or civil engineering work is carried out; this includes, in particular, excavation and excavation work, conversion, renovation and repair work, maintenance and refurbishment work, dismantling and demolition work, maintenance, painting and cleaning work, construction and dismantling of prefabricated components, etc.
Assembly points are workplaces on which pre-prepared parts or assemblies are usually assembled to a finished end result, i.e. assembled.
- You can submit an application for the approval of extended working hours for your seasonal or campaign operation if there is an extraordinary workload due to the current season or campaign, which cannot be compensated for by other organizational measures
(§ 15 Abs. 1 Nr. 2 ArbZG).
Seasonal establishments are establishments which operate throughout the year but which, by their very nature, require exceptionally increased activity at certain times of the year, e.B chocolate, honey cake and toy factories, tourist establishments.
Campaign companies are businesses that are limited by their nature to certain seasons, e.B beet sugar and fruit canning factories, fish smokehouses. As a rule, they must be able to process the natural products produced at a certain time in the shortest possible time so that they do not spoil.
- The extension of working hours depends in all cases on the circumstances of the individual case. The type and severity of the work, the extent of the willingness to work, etc. play a role. It is crucial that the health of the workers is not adversely affected. An exemption can only be granted if, in the context of a balancing exercise between the interests of protecting the safety and health of employees and the employer's operational interests, the latter prevail.
- In addition, the working time of employees must be balanced on average for six calendar months or 24 weeks to the maximum permissible working time of 48 hours per week.
In order to simplify communication and speed up the procedure, you should appoint a contact person in your company when submitting the application and provide their contact details.
§ 15 (1) Working Time Act (ArbZG)
§ 13 (5) Working Time Act (ArbZG)
§ 15 paragraph 1 number 1 Working Time Act (ArbZG)
- Since the exemption can only be granted on application, you must submit a corresponding application to the State Office for Environmental and Occupational Safety and Health and attach all the documents required for a decision on your application.
- The documents submitted by you will be checked for completeness and conclusiveness and, if necessary, documents will be requested.
- If you meet all the requirements, the permit can be granted. You will then receive a corresponding notification of approval.
- In the event that the conditions are not met, a negative decision will be issued.
Responsible for the content
Lower Saxony Ministry of Social Affairs, Health and Equality
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