German employment law is there to regulate relations between you and your employer. Of course, the law favors the employee and intends to protect him or her from unfair practices.
You should know that all German employees must have written contracts with their employer. This is law in Germany. It includes contracts that show salary and benefits, starting date, place of performance and so on.
Another kind of contract is the limited term employment contract. It is only used when there are specific reasons for limitation in employment, such as the job being a project, etc. An employer can enter into one of these contracts for a period up to two years without any restrictions.
Days Of Work — Business Days
German employment law allows for five-day workweeks. Workweeks are, generally, from Monday to Friday — depending on the job Saturdays may be included, too. It excludes public holidays of course.
Hours for a five-day workweek average between thirty-five to forty hours. The daily time can’t exceed eight hours. Sometimes you can work up to ten hours in a day if it averages out so that in a period of six months the average daily time doesn’t exceed the eight hours.
You’ll find the law prohibits working on Sundays and holidays, so if you are a workaholic, you will have to restrain yourself! If you do have an exception where you need to work at these times, you will have to get prior approval from the government.
Each year you are entitled to four weeks of vacation time. It’s more typical to receive about 25 to 30 days a year however, which depends on the type of business it is and your seniority.
Another good thing to know is that under German employment law, you are entitled to fully salary for up to six weeks in case of an illness. Sometimes your employer will have to continue the payments for up to 12 weeks. If the illness extends this time your health insurance continues to pay the gross of your salary.
If you are female, you would like to know that maternity leave is also covered under employment law. It can’t begin later than six weeks before your due date and it can’t end later than eight weeks after your child’s birth. Your employer can’t fire you during your pregnancy or for four months after childbirth either.
Parental leave for both men and women is also covered. You won’t get paid during the three years allowed, but your employer also can’t terminate you. Legally you can also work part-time during this period, up to thirty hours a week.
Within the Social Security System of Germany, your health insurance, home care, unemployment insurance and other insurances exist. You will pay part and your employer will pay part, around 50% each. The premiums come out to about 22% of your gross salary (excluding tax).
German employment law also regulates the rules of termination. You will be given maximum protection so you won’t be dismissed unfairly. Depending on how long you’ve been employed at the company, the employer will have to give you anywhere from four weeks to seven months notice. Be sure to check your employment contract as it will have been mutually agreed upon within your contract.
Working in Germany is a great thing to do, especially when you know that the laws are set up in your favor. You are protected and can feel comfortable knowing that you are fairly secure in your job.
German employment law is geared to keep the relationship healthy between you and your employer. Your rights are safeguarded and it allows for effective employment anywhere in the country.
Know your rights and love your job! ;-)