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Germany
 


Source and scope of regulations - 2017    

References  new 
  • Protection against Dismissal Act [PADA], 1969, as last amended in July 2017
    (Kündigungsschutzgesetz - available in German only)
    Date: 21 Jul 2017; view website » (view in NATLEX »)
  • Civil Code [CC], art. 611-630, 2002 (new version), as subsequently amended
    (Bürgerliches Gesetzbuch)
    Date: 20 Jul 2017; view website » (view in NATLEX »)
  • Works Constitution Act [WCA], 2001 as amended up until July 2017
    (Betriebsverfassungsgesetz)
    Date: 17 Jul 2017; view website »
Scope
Size of enterprises excluded (≤): 10
Workers' categories excluded: civil/public servants; army; managerial / executive positions; seafarers

Types of employment contracts - 2017    

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Maximum probationary (trial) period: 6 month(s)

Fixed term contract (FTC):
  • Valid reasons for FTC use: objective and material reasons
  • Maximum number of successive FTCs: 4
  • Maximum cumulative duration of successive FTCs: 24 month(s)
  • % of workforce under FTC: 13.2 %

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

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Obligation to provide reasons to the employee: Yes

Valid grounds (justified dismissal): any fair reasons

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

Workers enjoying special protection: workers' representatives; pregnant women and/or women on maternity leave; workers with family responsibilities; workers with disabilities

Procedural requirements for individual dismissals - 2017    

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Notification to the worker to be dismissed: written

Notice period:
    • tenure ≥ 6 months
      • 4 week(s).
    • tenure ≥ 9 months
      • 4 week(s).
    • tenure ≥ 2 years
      • 1 month(s).
    • tenure ≥ 4 years
      • 1 month(s).
    • tenure ≥ 5 years
      • 2 month(s).
    • tenure ≥ 10 years
      • 4 month(s).
    • tenure ≥ 20 years
      • 7 month(s).

    Pay in lieu of notice: No

    Notification to the public administration: No

    Notification to workers' representatives: Yes

    Approval by public administration or judicial bodies: No

    Approval by workers' representatives: No

    Procedural requirements for collective dismissals for economic reasons (redundancy, retrenchment) - 2017    

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    Definition of collective dismissal (number of employees concerned):
    Within a period of 30 days:
    1) more than 5 employees in undertakings with 21 to 59 employees;
    2) 10% or more than 25 employees in undertakings with 60 to 499 employees;
    3) at least 30 employees in undertakings with at least 500 employees.

    Prior consultations with trade unions (workers' representatives): Yes

    Notification to the public administration: Yes

    Notification to workers' representatives: Yes

    Approval by public administration or judicial bodies: No

    Approval by workers' representatives: No

    Priority rules for collective dismissals (social considerations, age, job tenure): Yes

    Employer's obligation to consider alternatives to dismissal (transfers, retraining...): Yes

    Priority rules for re-employment: No

    Severance pay and redundancy payment - 2017    

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    Redundancy payment:
    • tenure ≥ 6 months: 0.5 month(s)
    • tenure ≥ 9 months: 0.5 month(s)
    • tenure ≥ 1 year: 0.5 month(s)
    • tenure ≥ 2 years: 1 month(s)
    • tenure ≥ 4 years: 2 month(s)
    • tenure ≥ 5 years: 2.5 month(s)
    • tenure ≥ 10 years: 5 month(s)
    • tenure ≥ 20 years: 10 month(s)

    Notes / Remarks
    1) Individual dismissals based on the worker's conduct or capacity: no severance pay.
    2) Economic (individual or collective) dismissals: redundancy payment.

    Avenues for redress (penalties, remedies) and litigation procedure for individual complaints - 2017    

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    Compensation for unfair dismissal - free determination by court: No

    Compensation for unfair dismissal - Legal limits (ceiling in months or calculation method):
    Compensation shall not exceed 12 months' wages.
    2 exceptions:
    - up to 15 month's wages for workers aged over 50 and with at least 15 years of service,
    - up to 18 months for workers aged over 55 and with at least 20 years of service

    Reinstatement available: Yes

    Preliminary mandatory conciliation: Yes

    Competent court(s) / tribunal(s): labour court

    Existing arbitration: No

    Length of procedure: 2.6 month(s)

    % of dismissals out of the total number of disputes: 53.1 %

    Source of additional information - 2017    

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    Links

    , published in 2014, Rechtspflege – Arbeitsgerichte 2013, Fachserie 10, Reihe 2.8, 2014 »
    Available in German only.