Münster (dpa / lnw) - In the legal dispute between a police officer and the state of North Rhine-Westphalia about the crediting of voluntary work to working hours, the official suffered a defeat. The North Rhine-Westphalian Higher Administrative Court in Münster dismissed the man's complaint on Thursday. The police officer worked as a volunteer in local politics and had demanded from his office that almost 120 hours for the exercise of his mandate in the district council in Lippe from 2013 to 2017 be credited to his working time account. However, the Higher Administrative Court found in its judgment that the plaintiff was not entitled to half of his working hours being counted when he exercised his political mandate.
The official had referred to the municipal ordinance, which provides for half of the working time for elected officials with flexible working hours. The Minden Administrative Court had upheld the police officer's complaint in August 2020, but the Higher Administrative Court came to a different conclusion and dismissed the complaint. At the same time, the state's appeal against the Minden judgment in Münster was now successful.
In principle, civil servants could invoke the imputation regulation of the Municipal Code, which is not limited to employees in a private-law employment relationship. However, the police officer does not meet the requirements for crediting. Such crediting is expressly only possible if the mandate holder has flexible working hours. That is not the case with the plaintiff. He works in shifts and rotating shifts in three fixed shifts - early, late or night shifts.
A court spokesman explained that the legislature had flextime cases in mind when making the legal provision. Employees with flextime should be relieved with a view to the compatibility of professional employment and voluntary exercise of mandates. Irrespective of the verdict, the police officer is entitled to be released from work if, for example, a council meeting in the evening collides with his late shift. "He can definitely be released."
The OVG Senate did not allow any revision. On the other hand, a non-admission complaint is possible, which the Federal Administrative Court would decide on.