Are you an employer or employee in Germany wondering about labor laws? In this post, we'll provide a comprehensive overview of labor laws in Germany and cover the essential information you need to know, including recent changes and updates that came into effect in 2023.
There are several types of employment contracts in Germany, including:
Fixed-term contract: A fixed-term contract is an employment contract that is valid for a specific period of time. This type of contract is common for temporary or seasonal work.
Part-time contract: A part-time contract is an employment contract that involves working fewer hours than a full-time employee. This type of contract is common for employees who have other commitments, such as studying or caring for family members.
Full-time contract: A full-time contract is an employment contract that involves working the standard number of hours per week, typically 40 hours.
Freelance contract: A freelance contract is an employment contract for self-employed professionals who work on a project basis.
The standard working week in Germany is 40 hours. Overtime is allowed, but must not exceed 10 hours per week or 48 hours per month. Employees are entitled to a minimum of 11 hours of rest between working days
In December 2022, the German Federal Labor Court ruled that employers must record the working time of employees completely and comprehensibly. This decision clarifies that employers have an obligation to comprehensively track working hours to ensure compliance with regulations for the protection of employees and workers.
The minimum wage in Germany is currently set at €12 per hour. This applies to all employees, including part-time and temporary workers.
Employees in Germany are entitled to several benefits, including:
Paid Leave: Employees are entitled to a minimum of 20 days of paid leave per year. In December 2022, the Federal Labor Court ruled that statutory vacation entitlements will only be subject to the regular three-year statute of limitations if the employer has previously informed employees of their existing vacation entitlements and the impending expiration of paid leave entitlements. This also applies to the forfeiture of paid leave for employees who have been on long-term sick leave.
Sick Leave: Employees are entitled to paid sick leave if they are unable to work due to illness. Starting January 1, 2023, the paper certificate of incapacity for work, known as the “yellow certificate,” will largely be replaced by electronic notifications from statutory health insurance funds to employers. However, employees with private health insurance or certain other circumstances will still use the previous paper certificate procedure.
Health Insurance: All employees are required to have health insurance, which is typically provided by the employer.
Pension Insurance: Employers are required to provide pension insurance for their employees.
Employers are required to provide notice to employees before terminating their employment. The notice period varies depending on the length of service and is typically between four weeks and seven months.
Please note that this article provides an overview of key aspects of German labor laws and should not be construed as legal advice. For specific legal guidance, it is advisable to consult with a qualified legal professional knowledgeable in German labor and employment law.
We hope you found this comprehensive overview of German labor laws helpful, and we encourage you to explore further to stay informed about the ever-evolving landscape of employment regulations in Germany.
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