German Employment Laws

Germany has remarkably improved its labor laws over the years to make employment in the country enticing for jobseekers. Due to this, German employers are legally bound to offer hefty salaries, sufficient holidays, compensation for challenges on the job, and many other perks to their employees. On top of that, the country’s employment laws keep undergoing scrutiny and subsequent changes to meet the ongoing needs of the corporate world. As a result, the German state has had to make some adjustments to its employment regulations. To get familiar with those changes in the law, here is an overview of them all.

Digital Sick Notes

People working in Germany are entitled to sick leave and in the past employees needed to submit a doctor’s note. However, with the recent changes to the law, the employee will only have to notify HR and then it is the employer’s responsibility to reach out to the employee’s healthcare facility and confirm.

Higher Wages

According to the recent amendments in the German employment laws, the minimum wage has increased to EUR 9.82 gross per hour and is set to go higher. It has been announced that the minimum wage will go up to EUR 10.45 gross per hour starting in July 2022.

The German government has also promised to increase the minimum wage even more and take it to EUR 12 per hour in the future.

Opportunities for Disabled People

The German state has taken impressive measures to increase employment opportunities for disabled people with the implementation of the German Participation Strengthening Act. This bill dictates an increase in the budget for training disabled individuals to prepare them for different jobs.

Additionally, employers must establish a point of contact where they can receive information on training programs, recruitment drives, and employment opportunities.

The Whistleblower Directive

The Whistleblower Directive is essentially legislation put forward by the European Union for all its members to implement. It offers security to employees who report unlawful practices of their employer.

Germany previously announced that it would enforce the bill by December 2021; however, the Whistleblower Directive is yet to take effect. Rumor has it that the said ruling will be implemented within the first six months of 2022.

Short-Term Allowances and the COVID Bonus

All employees who pay social security contributions are legally entitled to a short-term working allowance regardless of their contract. Whether you have signed a definite term agreement or an indefinite contract, you are entitled to receive short-term assistance.

In case of a reduction in salary (which should be at least 10%), an employer has to pay short-term allowances to their workers. Previously, the duration for which a worker was to get an allowance was 24 months, but the entitlement period increased for an additional three months because of the pandemic.

Social Contributions

Social security contributions have consistently increased in past years. But since the minimum wage have risen, the social security threshold remains the same and, in some cases, has been reduced.

Non-Cash Benefits

As per the latest changes in employment laws, the cap on non-cash benefits payable to employees has increased from EUR 44 to 50 a month.

Besides the amendments mentioned above, there has been an emphasis on making corporate procedures digital, like registering for unemployment online.

Ending Note

The revisions in German labor regulations seem pretty promising for making Germany a secure employment destination for workers. (See also: Termination and Grounds for Dismissal in Germany)

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