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Germany - Substantive requirements for dismissals

Substantive requirements for dismissals (justified and prohibited grounds) - Germany - 2017    

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Obligation to provide reasons to the employee: Yes
  • Sec. 1 PADA

Valid grounds (justified dismissal): any fair reasons
  • Sec. 1 (2) PADA:
    Dismissal shall be socially justified by reasons relating to the employee's person or conduct or compelling operational requirements.

Prohibited grounds: pregnancy; maternity leave; filing a complaint against the employer; race; colour; sex; sexual orientation; religion; social origin; nationality/national origin; age; trade union membership and activities; disabilities; ethnic origin
  • The General Equal Treatment Act (2006, as amended in 2013) prohibits discrimination (including with respect of termination of employment) on the basis of race, ethnic origin, gender, sexual identity, religion, disability and age: sec. 1 and 2 (1) 2).
    Prohibition of dismissal during pregnancy and maternity leave: sec. 17 Maternity Protection Act (as amended in May 2017).
    Sec. 75 WCA obligation of the employer and the works council to ensure that the employees do not suffer any discrimination on the ground of race, creed, nationality, origin, political or trade union activity or convictions, gender or sexual identity.
    Sec. 612a CC prohibition to discriminate on the basis of the lawful exercise of his rights by the employee.

Workers enjoying special protection: workers' representatives; pregnant women and/or women on maternity leave; workers with family responsibilities; workers with disabilities
  • - Pregnant women : sec. 17 Federal Act on Maternity Protection (2002, as amended in May 2017): prohibition of dismissal during pregnancy and up to 4 months after childbirth).
    - Maternity /parental leave: sec. 18 of the Federal Parenting Benefits and Parental Leave Act (2007, as amended in May 2017)
    - Disabled workers: sec. 85 Social Code, book IX: or consent of the integration office required.
    - Worker's representatives: sec. 15 PADA.
    Prohibition of dismissal except in case of serious misconduct (good cause).