Information on Gainful Employment

Germany has strong labour laws. This means that working hours, holiday and break entitlements, cancellation rights and many more points are precisely regulated in employment contracts.

Rights and Duties of Employees in Germany

What you should know:
The employment contract forms the legal basis for a working relationship in Germany. It de- fines the rights and the obligations of both employee and employer. In terms of content, you should always ensure that you specify the following information prior to or upon concluding the employment contract:
● Names of the contractual partners (your name and that of the company)
● Beginning and duration of the contract
● If applicable, details pertaining to the probationary period
● Place of work
● Description of activity (your duties at the workplace)
● Details of your salary
● Details of working hours in terms of the number of hours per week
● Details of your holiday entitlement in terms of the number of days per year
● Details of the periods of notice applicable to both parties
It may be the case, however, that you will be employed on the basis of a collective agreement. If so, the above information is to be found not in your own individual contract of employment but in that collective agreement. Should you, in the future, work for Caritas for example, the aforementioned points are set down in the AVR-rule book. This is “The Guidelines applicable to Employment Contracts in the Facilities run by the Deutscher Caritasverband”. These guidelines plus the valid collective agreements in general must be available to employees for inspection.

Periods of Notice:

Periods of notice inform you as to how long in advance you must inform your employer of your intention to terminate your working relationship. The same applies vice versa for the company towards you. As a basic rule, there is, in Germany, a legally binding period of notice of at least four weeks. But beware: this statutory period of notice only applies if you have been in an employment relationship of indefinite duration for more than six months.
All information pertaining to your periods of notice, also during the probationary period, is to be found in either your own contract of employment or in your collective agreement. You will receive collective agreements in facilities run by the Deutscher Caritasverband, for example. Should you not find any details regarding periods of notice in either your employment contract or collective agreement, it is imperative that you should regulate these details additionally in writing.
Commitment and/or Repayment Clauses:

Pay particular attention to so-called commitment and/or repayment clauses. You will find these in your employment contract or in supplementary documents. — What are commitment or repayment clauses? They describe certain obligations that you, as an employee, have towards the company. Quite specifically, these regulations determine that you may not change your job for a certain period of time. Should you, in spite of the respective regulation, nonetheless change your job, you must expect to have to make monetary payments to your employer. It is therefore imperative that you should review the financial aspects of your contract for appropriateness. In case of uncertainties, independent lawyers specializing in German labour law will assist you.
You may also take advantage of the offer “Fair Integration” of the IQ network. This offers you advice on topics such as commitment and/or repayment clauses. In this brochure you will find additional information on this under Point 6 (“Neutral Advice and Other Support”).
Co-determination and Active Participation in the Company:
As an employee, you have a right to co-determination and active participation in the decision-making processes within the company employing you. In the case of public or private employers you may also turn to the works council or personnel representatives. These
are elected, institutionalized representatives in business establishments, companies and groups. They represent the interests and perspectives of all members of the workforce.
In church or charitable institutions, the body for co-determination is known as “MAV” (employee representative committee). Their elected members also represent the interests of the members of the workforce towards the employer. Their duties are comparable with those of work councilors.

You may obtain in-depth information here:    |    Geltende    Gehaltsuntergrenzen