German Labour Law

We advise French, Belgian and Swiss companies and their branches in Germany on all aspects of German labour law, both individual and collective. We can provide consulting services in French, German or English.

There are significant practical differences between German labour law on the one hand and French, Belgian or Swiss labour law on the other. This is why it is essential to promptly seek expert advice in order to clarify all of the relevant labour and social security law issues.

In addition to legal consulting on German labour law, our team with intercultural experience will also help you with the practical implementation in Germany and provide expert guidance for your projects in the following areas:

Services relating to German Labour Law

  • Recruitment of employees in Germany
  • Employment contracts and supplements to employment contracts under German law
  • Collective agreements in Germany
  • Termination of employees in Germany
      Termination for personal and behavioural reasons and for economic/operational reasons under German law.
      Drafting of all documents required under German law (letters of termination or warnings).
      Participation rights of the Works Council.
  • German termination and settlement agreements
  • Consultation on the special rules for cross-border workers between France and Germany
  • Restructuring in Germany
  • Representation in employment law proceedings before the courts in Germany
      Conciliation hearings, chamber hearings, appellate proceedings (Regional Labour Court).
  • Collective labour law in Germany
      Negotiation of works agreements under German law.
      Expert guidance on all issues of co-determination of the German Works Council.
  • Supply of temporary workers in Germany
  • Expert guidance on payroll accounting in accordance with German regulations
  • Sworn and unsworn translations of German and French documents (e.g. bilingual German-French employment contracts)

We are pleased to offer training for you and your human resources managers on all aspects of German labour law. We would be happy to send you a training offer!

Did you know that in Germany…

  • most companies in Germany are not bound by any collective bargaining agreement?
  • employers generally pay half of the social security contributions, which corresponds to about 20% of the gross wage of an employee in Germany?
  • employees often receive higher wages than for comparable jobs in France? However, as the level of social security contributions payable by the employer is lower in Germany, the total cost of employing a worker in Germany is often similar to that in France.
  • there is no statutory 35-hour week in Germany? In Germany, many employees work 40 hours a week and can work up to 48 hours a week.
  • German employment contracts can be limited to a period of up to two years without justification for a fixed-term contract? In Germany, employment contracts in newly founded companies may even have a fixed term of up to 4 years, for employees aged 52 and over, up to 5 years.
  • workers can be employed in Germany as part of a so-called mini-job (so-called EUR 450 job with lower social security contributions)?
  • the statutory minimum wage in Germany is EUR 9.35 gross per hour (status: 2020)? The amount is revised every two years.
  • employers are only allowed to reimburse a very small amount of food expenses incurred on business trips in Germany free of social security contributions and income tax? By contrast, Germany offers considerable tax advantages for the use of company cars, which is why it is much more common than in France.
  • employers in Germany at companies with a maximum of 10 employees can terminate an employment contract under German law even without providing a reason for termination?
  • terminated employees may bring an action before the Labour Court (Arbeitsgericht) in Germany only on the basis that the judge finds that the employment relationship continues to exist (so-called determination of the ongoing nature of the employment relationship)?
  • severance payments in the event of redundancies are not legally binding in Germany? In practice, however, in Germany severance payments are usually negotiated between employer and employee in the context of proceedings before German labour courts.
  • under German law, a simple letter of termination is sufficient for dismissal? This letter generally need not even contain the reasons for termination. German law also does not provide for a preliminary discussion on termination of employment (entretien préalable). If there is a Works Council in the company concerned in Germany, the employer is required to involve it in the termination procedure in advance.
  • there is no requirement that economic difficulties exist in order to carry out redundancies for operational reasons? Under German law on protection against termination of employment, the company has the right to freely decide to restructure the company in such a way that jobs are lost.
  • terminated employees have only three weeks from receipt of the letter of termination to bring an action against the termination before a German labour court? This often gives rise to disputes between employees and employers as to when precisely the employee received the letter of termination. For this reason, employers should carefully document the exact time of receipt of the letter of termination by their employees in Germany so that they can provide verification if needed.
  • labour courts, including those of first instance, are composed exclusively of professional judges? In Germany, labour disputes generally have a shorter duration than in France.
  • the holiday year corresponds to the calendar year?
  • it is entirely up to the employees to initiate the establishment of a Works Council, which can be done in companies with at least 5 employees? The Works Council of a German company has significant co-determination rights in many (economic) business decisions.

Our German-French Team for Labour Law in Germany