Employment Contract

You have successfully mastered the selection process and have been offered a job. Congratulations! Your signature on the employment contract seals the employment relationship and allows you to start. However, read your employment contract carefully and check it for completeness. 


A Complete Employment Contract

In Germany there is freedom of contract which means that employers are only scarcely bound to rules in the construction of an employment contract. It can also be contracted orally. From a legal perspective an employment contract underlies the regulations from article 611 to 630 of the German Civil Code. This article comprises the rights and duties of employers as well as employees. 

Start: The date stated in the contract shows the beginning of your occupation. From this date on you have to perform your services and you get paid. The end of the employment contract has to be mentioned if you are a temporary. An exception forms the temporary employment contract for a specific purpose such as parental leave. 

Job description: Your employment contract has to include a job description. Small companies are often less explicit in their job descriptions to deploy their employees more flexibly. 

Secondary employment: Theoretically you are allowed to have a secondary employment. You should, however, get a written approval of your employer. 

Case of illness: If not stated otherwise in your employment contract, you have to report a case of illness on the first day. After 3 days, your employer needs a sick note from your GP. 

Obligation to secrecy: Internal information is secret and is not to be communicated to people outside the company. However, pay attention that your obligations are not bound too strict as they should not interfere with your life after you leave the company. 

Place of work: Your place of work is clearly defined in your contract. Your employer is not allowed to relocate you in another branch if you do not wish to work there. 

Probation period: According to the law probation period may not extend 6 months. Meanwhile both contractual partners may cancel the employment contract without giving reasons. 

Working hours: The contract includes how many hours per week you have to work. It should also state what happens to your overtime. A general settlement through your basic pay is prohibited. You are not allowed to work more than 10 hours per day and there has to be 11 hours of resting time between shifts. 

Notice period: Legal notice period covers 4 weeks to midmonth (the 15th) or the end of month. 

Holiday: If you work 5 days per week, you have 20 days leave and 24 days if you work for 6 days per week. Your holiday should nevertheless be settled individually in your contract. 

Wage: Naturally, your employment contract has to include your wage. 

Baden-Württemberg holds the nationwide minimal wage of 8,84€ per hour (August 2017). Every employee of legal age is entitled to the minimal wage. There might be branch-specific variations according to the tariff. In some branches in Germany, trade unions negotiate wages and working conditions in a so called "Tarifvertrag" (collective agreement). Above all large companies in these branches are liable to these agreements. Exceptions for minimal wage further exist for compulsory work experience (which is for instance included in some academic studies), work experience that lasts less than 3 months and apprentices. 

Your employment contract captures your gross income. You have to pay wage tax according to your tax class. Additionally, the Federal Government raises a solidarity tax contribution (5.5% of your wage tax). If you have a religious confession you pay church tax (9% of your wage tax). Moreover, both you and your employer partially contribute to the social insurance which gives you medical-, pension-, unemployment- as well as nursing care insurance. Your gross income discounted of these payments is your net wage.


Now you are ready to sign your employment contract. What are you waiting for?

And after work?
And after work?

In Baden-Württemberg you enjoy.

After work many a south German likes to drink a cooled beer or a "Viertele" (a quarter of a litre of wine). Preferably they have local drinks as both beer and wine are produced in Baden-Württemberg.

So called "Most" is not quite as well known in the world. You can probably compare it to English cider as it is composed of fermented apple or pear juice. Formerly, it used to be a popular drink as it could be cheaply produced by anybody.