According to the German Trade Association, numerous new legal regulations at the beginning of the year represent burdens for companies. The interest representation wishes itself more free space of the politics.

The trade association (HDE) sees additional financial and bureaucratic burdens, for example in the new regulation of work on call. If the weekly working time is not fixed, a working time of 20 hours to be remunerated is now regarded as agreed. So far it was ten hours. The trade association also sees obstacles for the trade in the new regulation on bridge part-time work. Since 1 January, it has applied to companies with more than 45 employees. Employees can demand that their working hours be reduced for a limited period of one to five years.  An additional burden for the trade would also mean the amended regulation for the additional contribution to health insurance. Employers and employees now have to share this again. Josef Sanktjohanser, President of the German Trade Association: “For 2019 we urgently need a policy that leaves more room for innovation and investment and relies less on regulation. The one-sided expansion of employee claims at the expense of employers leads to incalculable personnel risks for companies.”

Trade association sees EU plans as excessive demands

The trade association also sees the EU’s plans for new guarantees as overstretching the trade. The planned update obligations and lifetime guarantees are not feasible. “The dealers are simply overwhelmed if they are to provide regular updates for all goods they sell in future. And the guarantee of a certain service life for the products sold also goes beyond what the dealers can afford,” says HDE expert Peter Schröder. So far, the retailer has been liable for the delivery of a faultless product. The manufacturer often guarantees the shelf life of the goods on a voluntary basis. The trade association demands that this proven system be left as it is. Because the dealer can hardly produce and provide the required updates himself. In the case of an assortment with several thousand products, practical handling is hardly conceivable. In addition, the planned obligation to guarantee a certain service life would lead to considerable legal uncertainty in practice.

Representatives advocate better cross-border trade

Instead, the trade association calls on the EU to develop the internal market and provide a fair framework for the digitisation of the industry. For the European elections in May, these are the points that are particularly important for the German retail sector. HDE President Sanktjohanser: “A large part of the national legislation relevant to the retail trade today is based on European regulations and directives.” In order to exploit the full economic potential of the EU, existing intra-European obstacles such as protectionist tendencies in individual countries or differing consumer protection standards would have to be removed. In addition, the same rules must be enforced for everyone. Above all in online trade. Products that are sold to the EU via online marketplaces from outside the EU must meet the strict product safety requirements here.

 

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Link: Handelsverband Deutschland wants more support from politicians for the retail trade and a reduction in bureaucracy

Picture: iStock

//KH