Criminal Labor Law in Germany

Nationwide legal advice for criminal labor law

The modern work environment is complex, as are the criminal law risks associated with it. Investigations and searches by German customs authorities (Finanzkontrolle Schwarzarbeit, FKS) are particularly increasing. Criminal labor law is an intersecting field, requiring knowledge of criminal law, labor law, social security law, and other commercial laws. Our experienced criminal labor law attorneys are available to assist you.

Nationwide legal advice for criminal labor law

Our key consultation areas in German labor criminal law

We provide advice on the following allegations, among others:

  • Withholding and misappropriation of wages
  • Unauthorized employment of foreigners
  • Unreported employment
  • Fraudulent acquisition of social benefits
  • Illegal temporary employment and worker dispatching
  • Violations of the Minimum Wage Act, e.g., undercutting the statutory minimum wage
  • Criminal and administrative offenses under the Working Hours Act and the Occupational Health and Safety Act
  • Subsidy fraud through incorrect applications for short-time work allowance, particularly during the corona pandemic

The following are particularly affected by allegations in the area of criminal labor law:

  • Construction companies,
  • The catering industry,
  • Agriculture,
  • Medical care providers,
  • Care facilities, and
  • IT companies.

Prevention of criminal offenses and labor law compliance

German labor law poses challenges to employers. A compliance management system can help protect management from personal criminal and fine law consequences. Especially in industries with:

  • High employee turnover,
  • Heavy reliance on foreign labor, and
  • Use of freelancers

Labor law risks must be identified and constantly monitored.

Handling internally detected errors

Even if errors are discovered during an internal audit, they can still be corrected under certain circumstances. In some cases, German law provides for self-disclosure with exemption from prosecution. However, a detailed risk assessment considering labor, social, criminal, and fine law must be conducted before this to prevent a domino effect.

For other (criminal) labor law issues, it may also be advisable to approach the authorities and report the case facts in a structured, analyzed, and prepared manner, despite the absence of a self-disclosure option. Ideally, criminal law risks can be entirely avoided or at least significantly reduced.

We assist with searches and witness questioning

If business documents are searched or examined, the presence of a specialized defense attorney can ensure that the investigative measures are as minimally intrusive as possible.

Simultaneously, a lawyer specializing in labor criminal law can verify the legality of search and seizure warrants and define their limits. The same applies to the questioning of employees and executives. There is a significant risk here that the person being questioned as a witness may incriminate themselves and face criminal prosecution.

Multiple criminal proceedings in labor criminal law often occur

Due to the interconnection of labor law, social security law, tax law, and criminal law, multiple proceedings almost always need to be conducted simultaneously. Constant communication with customs, the Federal Employment Agency, other social security institutions, the tax office, the police, and the public prosecutor’s office is necessary. Each of these procedures has its own legal rules and different responsibilities. For those affected, this is very time-consuming and resource-intensive.

Your attorney for criminal labor law in Germany

Thanks to the tight-knit collaboration among our labor, tax, and criminal law advisors, we can fully represent our clients in all aspects of German criminal labor law, whether it’s with customs, the public prosecutor’s office, the tax office, or in court. We maintain a comprehensive view of your interests and risks and are capable of managing all proceedings from one single source. The simplest way to reach us is through e-mail ( or by phone (069 / 76 75 77 80). Feel free to get in touch with us at any time with your queries!

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