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Parliamentary questions
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2 April 2014
E-004076-14
Question for written answer E-004076-14
to the Commission
Rule 117
Annette Koewius (PPE)

 Subject:  Case ID: 0775693
 Answer in writing 

I would like to ask for a reply to the following question (case ID: 0775693/4793887) of 1 August 2013 by Markus Riemenschneider to the Commission’s Directorate-General for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion:

The notaries' fund (‘Notarkasse’) is the public institution referred to in Section 113(1) of the Federal Notary Act (‘BNotO’). The fund employs, as an employer, around 900 specialist staff (‘fund employees’) whom it assigns to notaries. They are also transferred by the fund and thus work with the notaries only temporarily, for periods varying from months to years. They remain employees of the fund.

According to the fund’s rules on contributions, notaries are obliged to pay a salary contribution for each fund employee posted with them and also a graduated contribution. The monthly salary contribution is EUR 1 900 for the first such employee and EUR 3 800 for the second. This falls well short of covering the fund’s total employer’s costs. The costs arising from employing such staff are therefore subsidised by the graduated contribution, which must also be paid by notaries who have not been assigned any fund employees.

The result of this subsidy is that no other temporary work agency makes available staff of this calibre, as the salary contribution falls well short of covering costs.

Section 113(6) of the BNotO will henceforth be interpreted as stating that notaries must employ staff provided in this way and, as a result of this provision, that they must not apply the law on temporary employment (the national law implementing Directive 2008/104/EC (the directive on Temporary Agency Work)) or the directive itself. As a result, notaries will either be unable to employ other people — including citizens of other Member States — or they will have to release staff if the fund insists on enforcing the employment obligation.

In the author’s opinion, the restriction of the scope of the law on temporary employment described above is in breach of Directive 2008/104/EC (the directive on Temporary Agency Work). The national legislator may not prevent or annul implementation of this directive by legislating for an obligation to employ staff if said staff would otherwise, according to the directive, be temporary employees from a temporary employment agency.

What is the Commission’s interpretation of this situation?

Original language of question: DEOJ C 367, 16/10/2014
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