What is a conciliation hearing (Gütetermin)?
The first appointment at the labour court is called a conciliation hearing. This does not end with a verdict. At the conciliation hearing, the aim is to try and reach an agreement between the employee and the employer. On the day of the conciliation hearing, the employee, the employer, the respective lawyers (if any) and the judge meet.
This meeting is open to the public and observers are allowed to watch. The case is discussed and they see whether a compromise can be found. This can be a payment, the amount of a severance payment or something similar. If an agreement is reached, the decision is written down and sent to the employer and the employee. This is known as a settlement. The process is then finished.
If no agreement is reached, the court can also organise a second conciliation hearing if there is a chance that an agreement might be reached then. If it is still not possible to reach an agreement, a chamber hearing will follow (there may be several chamber hearings). A settlement may also be reached here. If this is not the case, the labour court will reach a verdict.
Even in the first instance, each party bears its own legal fees, regardless of whether the legal dispute is won or lost. The court costs are borne by the losing party. From the second instance (regional labour court) onwards, the party that loses the case must bear all costs, including those of the other party.
The amount of costs in labour court proceedings is based on the so-called amount in dispute. The higher the amount in dispute, the higher the costs. The labour court determines the amount in dispute in the verdict. Once the amount in dispute has been determined, the court costs and legal fees can be calculated. The court costs are always only due at the end of an instance. Advances do not have to be paid.
Note: if you have any questions about costs or the court proceedings, ask at your Fair Integration advice centre!
If you have any further questions, please contact your Faire Integration advice centre. You can find out who is responsible for you in your federal state on the advice centre page.
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