Things you should be aware of before quitting your job in Germany

Things you should be aware of before quitting your job in Germany

Quitting your job in Germany may require giving advance notice, as specified in the “Arbeitsvertrag” (employment contract). Whether you have another job lined up or not, there are formal procedures to follow. Whether you found a new job, decided to go freelance, or planned a self-funded vacation, the resignation process in the Bundesrepublik follows a standard procedure. Even after willingly leaving your job, you might still be eligible for unemployment benefits if you are not immediately transitioning to another job.

How to begin

    • Schedule a termination interview, preferably face-to-face, but a video conference is acceptable in the post-Covid era.
    • Be prepared to explain your reasons for leaving but avoid criticism of the company.
    • Thank the company for the learning opportunities and helpful coworkers you’ve had during your time there.
    • Provide a minimum notice period of one month before your intended departure date.
    • Plan and discuss how you will handle the remaining tasks before you leave.
    • Maintain a professional and respectful demeanour throughout the conversation.

Put it down on paper before quitting your job in Germany

    • If you’ve managed to deliver the announcement without making any unpleasant speech mistakes.
    • You can now take a little more time to compose a formal letter.
    • You must comply with this requirement for the termination to be valid, according to Section 623 of the German Civil Code.
    • Keep in mind that this cannot be sent by email but must instead be a formal letter with the firm’s address in the upper left corner, a date, and a subject line that is often “Cancellation of my employment contract.”
    • With a “vom” (from the) at the end, you can further elaborate by stating the precise day you want to go, ideally after having discussed it with your supervisor.
    • Keep the tone cordial and provide a truthful explanation of your reasons for leaving the company,
    • just like you did in your first conversation with your supervisor.
    • Larger organisations may give a departure interview, which would be a great opportunity to air any complaints you may have.
    • Depending on the contract, you may be required to give a certain amount of notice before leaving your position.
    • However, when nothing is written down, According to the law, a notice period of at least four weeks must be given, beginning on the 15th or the end of the month.
    • Employees on 6-month probation are the only ones who are exempt from this restriction; in these cases,
    • a two-week notice period, regardless of the day of the month, is acceptable.
    • A first-lose Kündigung (termination without a deadline) is only permitted in exceptional cases, such as when an employer treats an employee unfairly or engages in criminal activity.

Make certain it is received

You’ve taken the necessary precautions to make sure that your boss will accept your Kündigungsbrief (termination letter) positively in spirit, but you need also make sure that they will receive it. You can deliver it personally or submit it via registered mail to your manager or the HR division.
You might include a request for receipt acknowledgement in the letter itself.

Check the number of remaining vacation days

Even if you work from home, your last day at the office is not necessarily your last formal day. Find out from your HR department how many paid vacation days you have left because you will need to use this time during the period of notice. Alternatively, if you’d prefer the extra cash in your final paycheck than using the vacation days before quitting your work, your company might agree to pay you for any unused vacation time.

Prepare now for future employment before quitting your job in Germany

After giving your official notice, you have a legal right to receive an employment reference letter (Arbeitszeugnis) from your employer. This letter can be helpful when seeking new employment. If you and your supervisor had a strained relationship, you can use the early receipt of the letter as an opportunity to discuss potential rewording if there were only minor issues in an otherwise positive working relationship.

If necessary, submit a claim for unemployment benefits

In Germany, leaving a job voluntarily triggers a three-month “Sperrzeit,” rendering individuals ineligible for unemployment payments. The job centre covers health insurance during this time. To ensure timely benefits, register as jobless immediately, even without new employment lined up. Earliest registration is three months before job loss. Sperrzeit may be waived under specific circumstances.

    • You can demonstrate that you were firmly committed to a new role that was cancelled.
    • You had every right to resign without providing a reason, such as when your company failed to pay you.
    • You wish to share a residence with someone else so you can jointly raise your kids.
    • It is demonstrable that you are overburdened with work (for instance, following the submission of a medical certificate).

In conclusion, leaving a job voluntarily in Germany initiates a three-month “Sperrzeit,” during which individuals are ineligible for unemployment payments. Health insurance costs are usually covered by the job centre. To receive timely benefits, promptly register as jobless, and consider potential waivers based on specific circumstances.

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