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Work contract: One more step before Germany

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You have applied for a job and and your application has been accepted. Congratulations! Work contract? Nothing now stands between you and a career in Germany. All what is left to do now is to sign the work contract. Before you do, here are a few things to look out for.




It’s most unusual for a work contract to be delivered orally in Germany. This is why serious employers will always send you a written contract. Read it thoroughly from start to finish before signing it. If you do not understand something, this isn’t a problem: ask the company’s personnel department or the personnel officer about it.

What to find in a work contract?

Every contract for work should contain the following information:

Name and address: yours and that of the company

Date of when the contract starts: the date on which you officially become an employee of the company (that means: starting from what date is the contract valid?)

Term of contract: is your contract only valid for a certain period of time? When does it end? The term of your contract must be agreed in writing, otherwise it is considered to be valid for an undetermined time-period.




Trial period: How long does the trial period last? This is the period during which you or the company can terminate the contract very quickly.

Place of work: where will you be working? If you are to work in some different places, this should be stated in the contract.

Job description: what tasks will you be expected to do in the company?

Remuneration: how much would you be paid for your work? Will the company pay you supplements or bonuses, for example at Christmas or for weekends you gonna work, on top of your normal pay? When does the company pay you – for example, it can be at the end or beginning of the month? Note: the work contract usually states the gross remuneration. From this, certain amounts should be deducted for tax and social contributions, such as health insurance, long-term care insurance, an unemployment insurance and pension scheme.

Working hours: how many hours a week will you be expected to work?

Holiday: how many days free you have per year?

Notice period: how long in advance must you notify the company, or the company notify you, that the work contract is going to be cancelled?




Collective agreements and working agreements: often, in addition to your contract, special regulations also apply. For example, in many branches of industry, trades unions and employer associations have reached collective agreements.These agreements may regulate questions of remuneration, holidays or bonuses.Companies can also sign special agreements with their Employee Councils, which very often represent the interests of the employees. These are called works agreements.You can ask your employer if these agreements also apply to you.This can also be stated in your work contract.

See Also: Applying for a Job in Germany

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