100 first questions – Work
57. What important contractual conditions do I have to watch out in the case of an employment contract?
- Probezeit (Trial period)
When you have an employment contract, this usually involves a period of three or six months, which is valid as a probationary period and in which you can cancel or terminate daily (without giving reasons). During this time, you will see whether the work you like and your employer will see if you are suitable for this position. After expiration of the probationary period, the contract simply continues if both parties agree, or is terminated if one of the parties so wishes.
- Kündigungsfrist (Notice period)
The term of notice is one month (unless otherwise specified in the employment agreement) which you and your employer must comply with before the joint employment contract can be terminated. If you wish to terminate your employment, please notify your employer in writing. After the period of notice, the employment relationship will be terminated automatically.
- Wöchentliche Arbeitszeit (Weekly work time)
Pay attention to the weekly working hours in your employment contract. You must at least provide this working time, for which you receive your Wage/salary. If you work more than this agreed time, talk with your employer about how these overtime hours will be remunerated.
- Gehalt ( Wage/salary)
In your employment contract, you will also find information on the Wage/salary you get for your work. From this amount, taxes and social insurance contributions will be deducted automatically, the rest will be paid out.
- Befristung des Vertrages (Termination of the contract)
In your employment contract, you will also find the date by which the contract with your employer should be completed. Until this date you are employed by your employer, after which the contract ends. Make sure to register as a jobseeker with the employment agency at least three months before the contract expires.
If such date is not in your contract, the contract is permanent and will continue until you or your employer terminate it.
- Mini-job: If your remuneration does not exceed 450 euros per month, your employment is limited to three months or 70 days per year, and here too the remuneration does not exceed 450 euros per month, and you do not secure your livelihood through the employment (no occupational regularity), you have a mini-job. In such a marginal job, you are insured against accidents at work and occupational diseases, but you do not have insurance protection in the statutory health, long-term care and unemployment insurance. With a mini-job, you are in principle liable for pension insurance and pay pension contributions amounting to 3.6% of the salary. However, you can apply for exemption from compulsory pension insurance. Even in a mini-job, you are entitled to the statutory minimum wage as well as continued payment of wages in the event of illness and absence from work on public holidays.
The salary in Germany varies depending on the field of work. The minimum wage for each job is currently (as of 01.01.2022) € 9.82 per hour, from 01.07.2022 € 10.45, from 01.10.2022 € 12. Note that tax will be deducted and you will not get paid the full amount (see question 2).
If you want to know if the money that is offered to you by your employer is appropriate, you can ask the agency for work.
- Punctuality: Be always on time – at the talk, at work and with the breaks
- hierarchy: be advised that in many German companies the hierarchies are stricter than in many other countries and the superiors are empowered to issue instructions to their Subordinates
- Discipline: In Germany work is a very important part of everyday life, people take it very seriously
- If you have received benefits from the job center, you must notify them when you start working. You can then no longer receive benefits from there or these will be reduced depending on your income.
- work permit
- tax card (you get sent automatically when you start work)
- Social Security Number: If you want to work in Germany, you need a social security card. You receive this from the competent pension insurance institution when you start working. This document contains the first name, surname and national insurance number (Deutsche Rentenversicherung, telephone 0800-1000 4800).
If you would like to apply for a job, you should consider the following important contents of an application:
- Personal cover letter to the company (who are you, why do you want to work in this position, in this company, what experience do you already have, what can you do particularly well, what are your personal interests and activities?)
- Curriculum vitae in tabular form with photo (all your school and professional experience in chronological order, including breaks, also in the beginning you have to state, write your name, address and contact details)
- Certifications from the schools that you attended
- Certificates / reference letters of previous workplaces and working experience
These documents are sent to the company by post or in person, in an application folder (available in the supermarket or stationery trade) or sent by e-mail. However, it is also often possible to apply online
The best way to translate all documents into German or English before applying
There are various institutions that can help you in search of a job:
- Agentur für Arbeit, Stau 70, Telefon: 0800-4555500
- Jobcenter, Stau 70, Telefon: 0441-219700
- Verein Pro Connect, Güterstr. 1, Telefon: 0441-48066300
- Industrie- und Handelskammer, Moslestr. 6, Telefon: 0441-22200
- Handwerkskammer, Theaterwall 32, Telefon: 0441-2320
- Job Fairs (Appointment for example under www.weser-ems-halle.de)
Furthermore, there are several websites on which you can search for work, for example:
You can also find job offers in the Local Newspapers (printed or online), for example:
- Nordwestzeitung (www.jobs.nwzonline.de )
- Weekly edition of„Sonntags Blatt“ (is shared for free every week through your post)
If you know companies that you would like to work with, you can also check on their website to see if they have vacancies. Also initiative applications are possible and common in Germany.
You are also allowed to work as self-employed.
Yes, there are recognition procedures for foreign degrees and professional experience. The following institutions are available:
- IQNetzwerk, BNW, Stau 75, Telefon: 0441–219 06 850 https://www.migrationsportal.de/angebote/migrantinnen-migranten/berufliche-anerkennung.html
- IQ-Netzwerk, Raiffeisenstr. 24, Telefon: 0441-2190628
Further contacts for questions: Welcome Center Oldenburg, https://www.oldenburg.de/microsites/welcome-center.html
As a rule, you may only work once the foreigners authority has issued you with a residence title – provided that this also shows that you can work with it.
If you have a residence permit in accordance with Section 24 of the Residence Act, both employment and the pursuit of self-employment must be permitted by the foreigners authority and accordingly the residence title must be provided with the entry “gainful employment permitted” when it is issued.
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