Ministry of Labour, Social, Family Affairs and Integration

Working Employment Contract

The employment contract defines the essential rights and obligations of your employment. Please read this thoroughly before you sign it.

Employment Contract - Hamburg Welcome Portal

Once you have been selected for a job position, you will receive an employment contract. It establishes the rights and obligations between the employee and the employer for the duration of the employment. One of the duties of the employee is to execute his tasks relating to the job, to follow the instructions of the employer and to not disclose company secrets. The employer is obliged to pay wages and social security contributions (even in case of illness) and to grant holidays. If there is a reasonable cause (for example, expiry of the probationary period or change of supervisor), the employee is entitled to obtain a job reference.

Before signing the employment contract and returning it to the employer, you should check it carefully:

Title and general description of the activity to be performed

What will be your tasks in the company?

Start and duration of the employment

From what date on are you an employee of the company?

Is your contract valid for a limited time only? A time limit must be agreed upon in writing, otherwise the employment contract is deemed to be concluded for an indefinite period.

Working hours

How long do you have to work per week? A full job in Germany covers about 40 hours per week. It is also possible to work part-time.

Duration of the probationary period (maximum is six months)

How long does your probationary period last? This is the time when you or the company can quickly terminate the contract.

Notice periods

How long in advance do you or the company have to announce that the employment shall be terminated? The longer you work for a company, the longer your statutory notice period extends.

Amount of remuneration

How much money will you get for your work? Will the company pay supplements or premiums in addition to normal pay, for example at Christmas or for weekend work? When does the company pay the salary – at the end or the beginning of the month? Usually the salary is agreed as gross remuneration. Taxes and charges for social insurance such as health, long-term care, pension and unemployment insurance are deducted from this amount.


How many days of leave can you take each year? If you work five days a week, you are entitled to a statutory minimum of 20 days of leave per year.

Reference to the collective agreements, company or service agreements that apply to the employment

In addition to the employment contract, special regulations often apply. For example, employers’ organisations and trade unions have concluded collective agreements in many sectors. Collective agreements can, for example, regulate wages, bonuses or vacation entitlements. Companies can also sign contracts with their works councils – as employee representatives. These are called works agreements. Whether such contracts apply to you, may result from your employment contract.

Please note in case of illness:

If you are ill, you must report it to your employer immediately. If you are ill for more than three days, you must submit a certificate from the doctor to your employer by the fourth day at the latest. However, the employer is entitled to demand the submission of the medical certificate earlier. In case of illness your employer pays your full salary for duration of six weeks. If you are sick for more than six weeks and you are insured by statutory insurance, your health insurance will pay 70 percent of your salary. There are different rules if you have a private health insurance. In this case, please ask your health insurance company directly.