Once your application for job in Germany has been accepted, the next thing you have to do is to sign the work contract. Before doing so, here are some important things you should look out for.
A work contract in Germany is hardly delivered orally. Normally the employer will send you a written contract.
It is very important for you to carefully read the contract before signing it. Should there be anything you don’t understand, feel free to ask the company‘s personnel department or the personnel officer for clarification.
What a work contract should contain
The work contract must contain the following information:
Your name and address
Name and address of the company/employer
Date on which the contract starts, that is the date on which you officially become an employee of the company.
Term of contract: for how long is the contract valid?
When does it end? If this is not agreed in writing, the contract is considered to be valid for an undetermined period of time.
Trial period: How long does the trial period last? During this period you or the company can terminate the contract relatively quickly.
Place of work: the contract must indicate where you will be working. Even if you’ll be working in different places, it should be stated in the contract.
Job description: the contract must indicate the tasks you will be expected to do in the company.
Remuneration: the contract must indicate how much you will be paid for your work. It must also indicate whether or not the company will pay you supplements or bonuses, for example at Christmas or for working weekends, on top of your normal pay.
Please note that work contract usually states the gross remuneration. From this, certain amounts will be deducted for tax and social contributions, such as health insurance, long-term care insurance, a pension scheme and unemployment insurance.
When will you be paid – will it be at the beginning or the end of the month?
Working hours: how many hours a week will you be expected to work?
Holiday: how many days’ leave are you entitled to per year?
Notice period: how long in advance must you notify the company, or the company notify you, that the work contract is going to be cancelled?
This article has been prepared using information extracted from the “Guide to Working in Germany” by Make it in Germany.