Under German law, there are various ways to terminate an employment relationship. However, German law sets a high threshold for the employer to terminate an employment relationship. As employment generally is an employee's sole and most important source of income to sustain his/her livelihood, the law protects employees by requiring that employers, who wish to terminate an employment contract, provide a good reason for the termination.

Evidence before termination, Germany

Employment laws in Europe: PEO Services

“Our biggest lesson from terminating an employment in Germany is only following instructions given by professionals with local knowledge and experience. There are so many rules we were not familiar with, and we could have gotten into lots of trouble. Global People walked us through the complex termination process with an employee who wasn’t easy about his termination, and had all sides satisfied at the end of the process.” 

German Law

In Germany, the dismissed employee does have the option to challenge the dismissal in court and claim continued employment, if he believes the dismissal to be unfair. 

In any termination, the following general requirements – in addition to those described – must be kept in mind: 

  • The employer must give written notice of termination to the employee. Any other form of notice of termination – for example verbal or via email or fax – is void. 
  • The written notice of termination must be signed by the employer; if the employer is a legal entity, the termination letter must be signed by someone legally authorized to do so. 
  • If the employer and the employee have mutually agreed upon a longer contractual notice period, the longer contractual notice period will prevail. 


We usually recommend that – if practicable – the notice is served to the employee in person and the employee confirms receipt in writing. Alternatively, delivery via registered post or courier can be used. 

How we settled this issue

  1. We served as advisors and implemented structure and procedure to deal with such a case. 
  2. We looked for any documents that state the conditions of employment and looked for potential breaches and grounds for dismissal. 
  3. We searched for evidence of poor work ethic (checking email records, time stamps) and compiled it to make a case.  

How to prevent this from happening

One way to prevent this is to have a team that understands the ins and outs of employment in a certain country. For this, you will need competent HR and legal experts that will help you put all the administrative work in place. Additionally, to ensure that your company is always protected, compliance needs to be observed. As compliance differs from country to country it is important that we are aware of the differences between each country. 

Our Process

  1. We create a comprehensive HR strategy, including salary simulations and budget forecasts. 
  2. We formulate an extensive benefits plan including mandatory and industry benchmark benefits.
  3. Our legal advisers form a compliant contract envisaging your policy and organizational culture.
  4. After signing the contracts, we become the employer of record. 
  5.  We onboard the employee and manage all ongoing HR services for you. 
  6.  We update you with all changes and evolutions of the market and act when needed. 

Global People is a leading local employment solutions provider for national and international corporations and can advise and escort you in your next destination.

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