Labour Law in Germany
As a foreigner, moving to Germany to work can be an exciting prospect. The country is known for its strong economy and high standard of living, making it an attractive destination for job seekers. But before jumping on the next flight to Berlin, it’s important to understand the rules that govern working in Germany.
Understanding Visa Requirements
As of 2021, the estimated number of foreign workers in Germany was around 10 million. To legally work in Germany as a non-EU citizen, you’ll need to apply for a work visa from the German embassy or consulate in your home country. The visa application process can take several weeks to several months to complete, so it’s important to plan ahead.
To be eligible for a work visa, you’ll generally need a job offer from a German employer. The employer will need to provide documentation showing that they were unable to find a suitable candidate from within the EU before hiring a non-EU citizen. You’ll also need to prove that you have sufficient language skills to perform the job, which typically means passing a language proficiency exam.
It’s important to note that different types of work visas are available for different professions and industries. For example, if you’re a freelancer or self-employed, you’ll need to apply for a different type of visa than if you’re working for a German company. Additionally, certain industries such as healthcare and education have their own specific visa requirements.
Once you have a work visa, you’ll also need to register with the local German authorities and obtain a residence permit. This process can take several weeks to complete but is necessary to legally work and reside in the country.
From experience, this process can seem daunting, but don’t worry – we have you covered! Our relocation consultants are experts in applying for visas and can communicate in German with the visa offices to get your questions answered!
Once you’ve got your work visa sorted, there are some key rules that you need to keep in mind as you start your new job. One of the most important is the minimum wage law. In Germany, there is a minimum wage of €12 per hour, which applies to all workers regardless of their nationality or the industry they’re working in. This means that employers cannot pay their employees less than this amount, and workers have the right to report any unpaid wages to the relevant authorities.
Another important regulation is the notice period, which outlines the amount of time an employer must give an employee before terminating their contract. In Germany, this varies depending on the length of the employment, with a minimum notice period of four weeks for those employed for less than two years, and up to seven months for those employed for more than 20 years.
When it comes to working in Germany, there are a few important things to keep in mind. One of the most crucial considerations is the number of working hours. In Germany, the standard working week is 40 hours, and this is regulated by law. The maximum working hours per day, which is set at eight hours. This means that employees cannot be required to work more than eight hours per day – unless there are exceptional circumstances. Furthermore, workers are entitled to breaks during their shifts, including a minimum of 30 minutes for any shift that is longer than six hours.
But that’s not all – German law also requires that employees be entitled to at least 24 days of paid vacation per year. This is significantly more than the minimum vacation time mandated in many other countries. Of course, individual companies may choose to offer more vacation time than the legal minimum, so it’s always worth checking your specific employment contract.
Another key aspect of German labour law is the regulation of overtime. If you’re asked to work more than your usual hours, your employer is required to pay you at least 25% more for those extra hours worked. This is an important protection for employees, as it ensures that they are compensated fairly for any additional work they put in.
When it comes to workplace regulations in Germany, employers must adhere to a number of guidelines in order to ensure the safety and well-being of their employees. One of the most important of these regulations is the requirement to provide a safe working environment. This means that employers must take steps to identify and mitigate any potential hazards in the workplace and ensure that their employees are provided with the necessary safety equipment and training.
In addition to workplace safety, employers are also required to have insurance for their employees. This insurance provides coverage in case of work-related accidents or illnesses and helps to ensure that employees receive the care they need to recover and return to work. This insurance is mandatory for all employers in Germany, regardless of the size of their business or the industry in which they operate.
Now you are on your way
Of course, these are just some of the key rules that govern working in Germany. Depending on your industry and the type of work you’re doing, there may be additional regulations that you need to be aware of. But with the right preparation and understanding of the rules, working in Germany can be a rewarding and fulfilling experience.
Working in Germany requires foreign workers to abide by certain rules and regulations. However, once these requirements are met, the country offers a dynamic and competitive job market. With its strong economy and high living standards, it’s little wonder that Germany is considered one of the best places in the world to work.