Key Employment Benefits in Germany

Germany has one of the most advanced economies in the world. In order to maintain that status, the German government is constantly in search of highly skilled talent – both locally and abroad. In order to recruit and retain top talent, Germany offers a number of employment benefits, some of which will be discussed in this blog.

Key Employment Benefits in Germany:

1)    Leave Entitlements:

Every German employee is entitled to at least 20 days of paid leave throughout the year (assuming a five-day working week). For employees working 6 days a week, the number of minimum days of paid leave goes up to 24 days. In addition to this paid leave, employees get additional public holidays throughout the year, including:

  • New Year’s
  • Easter Monday
  • Good Friday
  • May Day
  • Ascension Day
  • German Unity Day
  • Whit-Monday
  • Christmas Day
  • Boxing Day

2)    Overtime:

A typical shift in Germany is 8 hours, but should not exceed 10 hours. The number of hours an employee works during the week should not exceed 48. The work begins Monday and ends on Saturday, and German employers are not to ask their employees to work on a Sunday.

However, companies can request their employees to work on a Sunday as long as the workers are getting a minimum of 15 Sundays off throughout the year.

Germany does not have any mandatory laws regarding overtime compensation. A number of companies that ask their employees to work on Sundays compensate by offering additional time off during the following week.

3)    Parental Benefits:

Germany is one of the best countries in the world when it comes to parental benefits.

Employees giving birth are entitled to at least 6 weeks of paid leave prior to birth, and 8 weeks of paid leave after birth. With multiple or premature births, the post-birth paid leave period is extended to 12 weeks.

In addition, employees giving birth cannot be fired in the 6-week period prior to their due date and during the 4-month period after birth.

Each parent can take up to 3 years of paid leave at any point during the first 3 years after birth. During this period, the government will cover all parental leave expenses. In addition, employees cannot be fired during the parental leave period.

These protections and benefits apply to adoption, surrogacy, and miscarriage. The German government also offers parental benefits to LGBT families.

4)    Health Insurance:

Every employee is required to have health insurance. The maximum amount of health insurance is either 14.6% of the employee’s salary or EUR 58,050 annually (whichever is lower). Employers are required to cover half of this premium.

If an employee earns an annual amount less than EUR 64,350, they will be placed under the public health plan.

Final Word:

The German government has designed these comprehensive laws to protect their labor force and to attract skilled workers from around the world.

To learn more about employment benefits in other parts of the world, checkout our website


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