No wages without work

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Without work, no wage is a principle in German employment contract law that arises indirectly from the due date rule of Section 614 sentence 1 BGB . Thereafter, the remuneration must be paid after the services have been performed .

The basic consideration is that the work performance is a fixed debt , which it is usually impossible to fulfill over time. There is broad agreement on this. How this is to be justified in individual cases is disputed. Some generally assume an absolute fixed debt and believe that the work can never be made up. Others (including the Federal Labor Court ) want to assume a relative fixed debt within the meaning of Section 323 (2) No. 2 BGB, taking into account the specific situation ( working time accounts, flexible working hours , etc.). Normally, however, it is impossible to catch up on work because the employee owes a new work on the following days.

Since the general right to disrupt performance is fundamentally applicable in labor law, this results in an impossibility for the main obligation of work according to § 275 BGB. According to Section 326, Paragraph 1, Clause 1 of the German Civil Code (BGB), this means that there is no claim to consideration ( no performance without consideration ).

There are a number of important exceptions to this principle: