Employment Law in Germany
Employment Law in GermanyUpdated on Monday 14th September 2015
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General aspects about the Employment Law in Germany
The employment relations between an employer and an employee are settled by the German Labor Law.
Companies and their employees can agree upon working relations orally or in written, but usually the signed written agreements are the most often used types of labor contracts in Germany. Almost every type of contract refers to a larger number of employees and it is called a collective labor agreement (Allgemeine Geschäftsbedingungen).
The German employer will usually decide on the terms of a contract therefore the clause 305ff. BGB of the German Civil Code has been enabled in order to protect the employee.
The labor contract in Germany
The German employment contract will contain the names and the addresses of both the employer and employee and data about the starting date of work, and in case of determined period contracts the ending date, the place of work, the salary, and the date of payment of the employee, the working hours and the annual leave. The German labor contract should also mention a job description and the period of notice to be given in case of termination. The law enables the employer to set a probation period that can last up to six months unless the contract says otherwise. During the trial period the notice for ending the employment is set at 2 weeks.
Working hours in Germany
In Germany the working hours and breaks are stipulated by the law and must appear in collective labor agreements or individual work contracts. The working week in Germany is set at 8 hours per day, 38-40 hours per week. The breaks are set at least 30 minutes after a six hours schedule and a rest period of 11 hours between working days is also mandatory. The employee has the right to a 4-weeks’ vacation throughout a year.
Closing an employment contract in Germany
The termination of an employment contract must be done in writing in Germany. The employees must give a 4 weeks’ notice beginning with the 15th or the last day of the month.
In case of employers the notice period depends on the time the employee has been working in the company and varies from a 4 weeks’ notice period for employees working for less than 2 years in the company and arrives at 7 months for employees working for 20 years or more in a company.