German Labour Law
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In Germany, there are a large number of regulations to protect the employee - as the legally in general weaker party of the contract.
The main element of German Employment Law is the employee's protection against dismissal. If a company employs more than 10 employees and the employment lasts more than 6 months, the employer can only terminate the employment contract if this is socially justified. Social justification requires specific personal or behavioural reasons or redunandancy. Each reason is subject to detailed further requirements.
The consequence of an invalid termination is no claim for damages or other financial compensation for the employee but a continuation of the employment. In practice, the parties usually agree - beyond concrete legal regulations - on an amicable settlement to avoid the continuation of the employment. The terms of such an agreement is up to the free negotiation of both parties.
According to Section 623 German Civil Code every termination and every amicable settlement to end the employment requires written form; electronic form is excluded. Any notice given verbal or in electronic form is invalid, the employment continues.
Section 622 German Civil Code regulates the general notice periods for terminations by the employer. The notice periods apply to every company, regardless of whether they employ more than 10 workers. The periods depend on the duration of service of the employee from 4 weeks (to the end of the month/15th of the month) to 7 months to the end of the month.
According to Section 626 German Civil Code an employment may be terminated by either party for good cause without a notice period if there the party giving notice cannot reasonably be expected to continue the employment to the end of the notice period or to the agreed end of the service relationship, taking all circumstances of the individual case into account and weighing the interests of both parties to the contract.<br><br>The Notice of termination has to be given within two weeks. This deadline commences with the date on which the party giving notice obtains knowledge of the facts.<br><br>The requirements for good cause justifying termination without notice are very strict. As a rule, the dismissal must be preceded by a warning that reminds the employee of his or her unlawful behaviour. Only in extreme cases such as theft, deliberate damage to the employer or gross insults justify dismissal without such a warning.