The churches in Germany are not allowed to require that vacancies in the future of each applicant and each applicant has a religious affiliation. The Federal labour court decided in Erfurt. It is set in a landmark judgment rules, when a Church membership required. A lay person, social worker had applied for a lecturers at the diakonia centre and was rejected. She complained about discrimination on the basis of Religion. Gregor Thüsing, Director of the Institute for work files law and social security law at the University of Bonn, the judgment.

TIME ONLINE: Professor Thüsing, the Federal labour court has ruled that the churches of Applicants shall not be required in any case, a religion. Now working with atheists, Buddhists, and Muslims at each Church’s employer?

Gregor Thüsing: you could previously – it depends on the place. Also still applies: In the case of certain Bodies, religious employers are allowed to differentiate continue to be denominational affiliation. For example, if the Position is vital to the charity, or the promulgation order. In the case of teachers, for example: the religious education of children is an Element of the activity itself. I can do as a Buddhist is bad. In the decided case, the rejected applicant would have been, according to the court in a Team of other workers involved, and so the Ethos of the institution, not questioning. In such cases, it is allowed to play after this judgment, the Religion has no role.

Gregor Thüsing

born in 1971 in Cologne, Germany, is since the winter semester 2004/2005, the Director of the Institute for labour law and social security law at the University of Bonn.

TIME ONLINE: How was the date? Has led the Church before any interview with an atheist?

Thüsing: churches already employ also non-Christians, in the guidelines of the Evangelical Church, it is said, however, for example, that in principle, members of the faith are to be preferred to every point. This principle of primacy, the German Federal labour court now in question. Now, however, the Church must explain in detail why it needs for certain positions in denominational loyalty or not.

TIME ONLINE: Why religious employers could make the employees so far rules which go beyond the normal work right?

Thüsing: The churches and their charitable organisations are not employers like any other. Their facilities to fulfill a specific Mission. This is protected in the Constitution. That is why you may call for a special loyalty. The Federal labour court, however, has made it clear that this may not fully apply to the belief itself. That is, it must not be used by any employee demands that he belongs to the Church.

TIME ONLINE: What are the consequences of the judgment for the churches?

Thüsing: The right to self-determination of churches is sensitive had been touched. So far, the churches were allowed to specify the Bodies which are so important that you want to set this to only Christians. This could now be different. But the churches will have to ask you if you want to leave the decision of the Federal constitutional court or not. If you accept the verdict, you need to clarify: What does this mean for our concrete setting practice? It is necessary that our rule works?

one thing is Sure: wherever the proclamation order is affected or directly, for example, educational services are affected, it will continue to be so that the churches can make your belief a prerequisite of the service. But where it comes to an administrative or Executive function – for example, for medical services in the hospital will in the future be more accurate to check whether special loyalty obligations are justified.

TIME ONLINE: The Church also operates many health care facilities. Will change the judgement a little on the shortage of skilled workers in care?

Thüsing: We have a lack of Maintenance, this is always felt more strongly. This is also why the churches have not taken into account already bound denominational workers as a candidate. Whether the judgment is still something to change, is therefore questionable.

TIME ONLINE: How many people are affected by this judgment?

Thüsing: The churches, both taken together, with their institutions, about a Million workers, they say. This is the largest employer after the state, if you count all the agencies together. In this respect, this is a decision of fundamental significance, which will certainly have an impact on the practice.

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