Working conditions

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Termination and Termination Agreement

If you resign yourself or your employment relationship is terminated, there are several things you should bear in mind. Also, the conclusion of a termination agreement should not be done without examination.

We have compiled the most important points for you here:

Periods of Notice

There are notice periods that must be observed in every employment.

Unless otherwise stated in the employment contract or collective agreement, the notice period is 2 weeks during the probationary period and 4 weeks after the end of the probationary period. A notice of termination that complies with the time limits is called an ordinary notice of termination.

Form of Notice

Notice of termination must always be given in writing, even if no written employment contract has been concluded. The written form applies to both parties, meaning the employer and the employee. Notices of termination sent by e-mail, SMS, other messenger services (for example WhatsApp or Telegram) and verbally are not admissible. This means that the employment contract still exists and you must continue to go to work and the employer must continue to pay your salary.

Furthermore, the notice of termination must also be signed. Initials or an abbreviation of the name are not sufficient. In addition, the person must also be authorised (power of attorney) to give you notice.

Reasons for Termination

As a rule, the employer needs a reason for an ordinary termination. However, he does not have to state this reason in the letter of termination. Nevertheless, at the latest in court, the employer has to explain the reason why he terminated your employment. So be sure to ask about the reasons for termination. We will be happy to support you in this. If the employer does not state the reasons for dismissal when you ask, you may be entitled to compensation.

Termination without Notice

Termination without notice ends the employment relationship with immediate effect. The period of notice agreed in the employment contract or stipulated by law is not observed in this case. This termination is therefore also called extraordinary termination. A termination without notice is possible if the employer or the employee cannot reasonably be expected to cooperate until the expiry of the ordinary notice period. If you are dismissed without notice, you should by all means seek legal advice immediately. An appeal against a termination without notice can only be filed within 3 weeks after receipt of the notice of termination   

Note: If you hand in your notice yourself, this may under certain circumstances lead to a reduction in benefit entitlements under SGB II (Job Centre) or ALG 1 (Federal Employment Agency). You should definitely seek advice before terminating your employment contract.

Termination Agreement

A termination agreement is an agreement between you and your employer. Its purpose is to end the employment relationship. If you do not agree to the termination agreement, the employment relationship will continue. The conclusion of a termination agreement comes into question, for example, if you have found a new job and the notice period in your current employment contract is too long. In this case, you can talk to the employer about an earlier termination of your employment contract.

Note: If you sign a termination agreement, this may under certain circumstances lead to a reduction in benefit claims under SGB II (Job Centre) or ALG 1 (Federal Employment Agency). Before concluding a termination agreement, you should definitely seek advice.

Jobseeker/Unemployment Registration

Whether it is the end of a fixed-term employment contract, termination (without notice) or a termination agreement, it is imperative that you register as unemployed with the Employment Agency to ensure that you do not lose any entitlements. You must register as a jobseeker 3 months before the expiry of a fixed-term employment contract. If you fail to do this or do it too late, it may result in you receiving less unemployment benefit or none at all.

Example: Your employment contract is limited until 31.12., then you must have registered as a jobseeker by 01.10 at the latest.

If you are dismissed, please register as a jobseeker with the Employment Agency immediately (ideally no later than 3 days after the dismissal).

Even if you are a customer of the Job Centre and are not entitled to ALG 1 (Federal Employment Agency), you must register with the Employment Agency. There you will receive a certificate stating that you are not entitled to ALG 1.


The information listed here does not replace a personal consultation, but is only intended to provide an overview. If you have any questions or need advice, please do not hesitate to contact us.