Dismissal from work in Germany: peculiarities of the procedure and possible reasons

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Dismissal from work in Germany: peculiarities of the procedure and possible reasons

Changing jobs is sometimes a prerequisite for professional and personal development. Moving to another location, changing your occupation or other reasons may force you to leave your previous job. Learn more about the dismissal procedure in Germany and the conditions for terminating employment contracts

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In order to avoid problems and protect their rights, all migrants working in Germany should familiarize themselves with the rules of the dismissal procedure. This will ensure that you receive all wages, monetary compensation, and even references from your previous job.

Dismissal procedure for a foreigner in Germany

Migrants can be legally employed in Germany if they have a temporary residence permit or a Blue Card. In order to proceed with the dismissal procedure, they must fulfill several additional conditions:

Persons who have lived in the territory of the Federal Republic of Germany for less than two years must obtain permission from the BAMF to change their place of work. Very often, the temporary residence permit is tied to the current employer. Migrants who do not fulfill this condition risk losing their residence permit.

Persons who have lived in Germany for more than 2 years are no longer tied to an employer, so they can change their place of work without the need to obtain a permit from the migration service.

Features of the dismissal procedure for expats in Germany

In order for your dismissal to be carried out in accordance with all the requirements of the German Labor Code, you must follow the following algorithm of actions:

1. Check your employment contract. This document specifies the period of time for which the employee is obliged to notify the employer of his/her resignation;

2. Complete the required period of notice. Most likely, another person will continue to perform your duties. Bring them up to speed and familiarize them with the specifics of the job. This will have a positive impact on your reputation and allow you to get good recommendations from your management;

3. Apply for unemployment benefits. Persons who have worked in Germany for at least 5 years are eligible to receive unemployment benefits for up to 2 years. The amount of unemployment benefit is 67% of the salary at the previous place of work;

4. Check the number of days left on your vacation. It's better to check with the HR department to see if you have any days left of your paid vacation. This way, your last day in the office will not be your last official working day. The employer may provide you with compensation for unused vacation;

5. Get a letter of recommendation. In Germany, every employee has the right to receive a letter of recommendation Arbeitszeugnis. It will be very useful during interviews for further employment;

6. Apply for unemployment benefits. Persons who have resigned on their own accord without substantial reasons will not receive financial assistance from the employment center for 3 months. This period is called Sperrzeit. However, you will have the opportunity to cover health insurance payments.

Important! Persons staying in Germany on the basis of a temporary residence permit are obliged to register as unemployed with the employment office on the first day after dismissal, provided that they do not have a new employment contract.

Termination of different types of employment contracts for foreigners in Germany

Depending on the type of employment contract you have signed, there may be peculiarities in the dismissal procedure. Let's take a closer look at them:

1. Fixed-term contract or limited contract. The contract is terminated automatically after the expiration of the specified period. There must be a good reason for early dismissal, which must be documented;

2. Perpetual contract. The contract is valid for an unlimited period. It is assumed that the agreement may be valid until the employee's retirement age. The employee may resign at will without giving any reason. The main condition is the fulfillment of a regulated notice period;

3. Dismissal during the probationary period. The probationary period in Germany can be up to 6 months. It is possible to be dismissed during the internship with a two-week notice. If the duration of the probationary period exceeds 6 months, the employer must be notified of the dismissal at least 2-4 weeks in advance.

Sudden dismissal for expats in Germany

Urgent dismissal without good reason is only possible in exceptional situations. This applies to both employers and employees. This is called extraordinary termination of employment.

The employee must submit a notice of resignation within 2 weeks after the reason for termination of the contract. If the reason is found to be justified, he or she will be able to terminate his or her employment immediately.

The most common reasons for extraordinary termination of an employment contract include:

1. delay in payment of wages;

2. violation of safety standards; 

3. harassment and insults;

4. bullying.

In such situations, the best solution is to consult a professional lawyer. He or she will help you draft an official warning letter to the employer, as well as correctly choose the reason for dismissal. If the reason is found to be unreasonable, the employer has the right to file a lawsuit against you.

Igor Usyk - Head of Legal Department at Visit World

For successful employment in Germanyuse the advice of an international lawyer.

We help to solve complex and simple issues for your comfort and safety in Germany.

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More articles on the topic:

Working in Germany for foreigners without knowledge of the language: features and possible options. Immigration of skilled workers to Germany: new rules came into force in November 2023.

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