So, you have made the decision to work in Germany. To make sure you get a smooth start after finding your new job, we have put together the most important related information in this section.
You have found a potential job, the company has expressed interest in you, and you'd like nothing more than to sign the contract right away? Before you can, you'll have to present a work permit to your future employer. Without one, you are not allowed to work in Germany.
If you are a citizen of another EU member-state, it's easy: You can access the German job market without any restrictions. Please note that this does not apply to citizens of the new EU member-states Bulgaria, Croatia, or Romania.
for obtaining an EU work permit:
- Employment in a skilled position that requires at least two years of vocational training according to German law
- Compliance with the collective labor conditions in place for comparable employees in Germany
Meanwhile, the following special conditions also apply to the following fields:
- Non-skilled employment
- Employment in performing arts (e.g. fairground people)
- Home care provision
The process of obtaining a work permit typically takes around four weeks. The agency responsible for issuing work permits and approving corresponding residence permits is International Placement Services (ZAV), which has regional offices in several locations in Germany.
In order to start working, citizens from outside of the EU and the European Economic Area (EEA) must have a residence permit -- which can be applied for at Germany's diplomatic representations abroad or at a foreign citizens' office within the country -- and the approval of the Federal Employment Agency in most cases, as well.
Special regulations apply to citizens of Australia, Canada, Israel, Japan, New Zealand, South Korea, and the United States of America. You can obtain the necessary residence permit from the relevant foreign citizens' office after arriving in Germany, as well. Just remember that you can only start working in your intended position after receiving a corresponding residence permit.
Direct phone consultations
8:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m., Mon/Wed/Fri
8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. Tue/Thu
Tel. +49 (0) 228 713 2000
You have made it through your job interview and are about to sign the corresponding employment contract? Congratulations! Let's take a look at what you should keep in mind when reading through the contract.
There are essentially two types of employment contracts: temporary and open-ended. As you can likely guess, temporary contracts are limited to a fixed period of time. This limitation is only permitted under the preconditions specified in Germany's related legislation (Teilzeit- und Befristungsgesetz). In order to be limited to a particular period of time, temporary contracts must be finalized in writing. If the limitation is not included in the language of a given contract when it is signed, the contract will be considered open-ended.
An employment contract serves as the basis upon which the two parties involved are required to fulfill certain duties.
For employees, such duties include:
- Carrying out one's tasks
- Following the employer's directives
- Maintaining one's integrity (never revealing company secrets or accepting bribes, for example)
- Not working for the employer's competitors (under certain conditions)
Employers, meanwhile, must fulfill the following obligations:
- Paying employees for their work
- Transferring social insurance contributions to the relevant authorities
- Providing vacation time
- Provide their employees with sufficient work
- Providing for their employees' welfare and
- Issuing work references
Further rights and obligations, such as continuing to pay employees when they are ill or observing notice periods, may also be stipulated by labor law or collective labor agreements rather than in employment contracts.
Every work contract should include at least the following provisions:
- The names and addresses of the parties involved
- An official designation and a general description of the activity in question
- The starting date and duration of the contract
- The duration of the probationary period (six months at most)
- The employee's remuneration
- The employee's annual vacation time
- References to any collective labor, company, or works agreements that apply to the contract
- In the case of temporary contracts: the duration of the contract
An employment contract also specifies the employee's regular working hours. These are defined as the time the employee spends at work, not including breaks. In the case of shift work, contractual working hours are divided into sections of the day that change periodically. An employee's relaxation time includes breaks (during working hours), rest periods (at the end of the employee's daily working hours), and paid vacation.