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What to know as an employer when hiring in Germany

If you are an organization considering to hire in Germany, then you may have some questions about costs, holidays, sickness and other employment laws which you need to comply with. This article intends to outline some useful information for companies to consider when hiring new employees in Germany.

Before hiring in Germany, it is important to know that unless you will work with an employer of record, any company will need to ensure they have completed the follow actions:

  1. You will need to legally register your entity in Germany
  2. You will need to register with Germany’s social security and tax authorities
  3. You will need to open a German bank account
  4. You may need a licence or permit in some industries

Once those aspects are covered, you may have some questions around some employment laws in Germany. In this article we will offer some information around minimum wage, standard working hours, payroll, holidays including public, sick days and other leave within Germany.

Minimum wage & bonus:

As of July 2022, the minimum wage act (Mindestlohngesetz- MiLoG) states that the National minimum wage is 10.45 euros per hour. There is no law which specifies how much an employee should be paid for overtime or regarding bonus. Therefore, an employer may choose to give their employee a 13th month or annual bonus.

Working hours:

In Germany, the standard working week cannot exceed 48 hours or 8 hours per day. The only exception is that this can be extended to 10 hours per day providing that over a period of 6 months, the average working day has not exceeded past 8 hours a day.


In Germany, overtime is categorized into two types – Mehrarbeit & Überstunden.  Mehrarbeit refers to what was mentioned above in the section working hours. It means a company can extend an employees working hours to 10 hours per day, providing that over a period of 6 months, the employees working hours average to 8 hours a day. Überstunden refers to extra hours on top of the contractually agreed amount. This is allowed but the hours must be compensated by the employer.

Working days:

A German working week is considered Monday – Saturday.


Employer& Employee Payroll Contributions

Employers usually pay around 20.645% in payroll contributions on top of an employee’s salary. For an employee, this is around 22.05% – 31.05%.

Paid Leave:source

The statutory minimum holidays in Germany amount to 24 days of paid vacation. All calendar days that are not Sundays or public holidays are considered working days. The full holiday entitlement is acquired for the first time after six months of employment.

Public holidays:

There are 9 national holidays that all states follow. However, more public holidays depend per state.

Maternity leave:

In Germany, pregnant employees are allowed 14 weeks of maternity leave which can go up to 18 weeks if an employee has multiple births or there have been complications. Maternity leave is characterized by prenatal leave and post-natal leave. Prenatal leave stipulates that an employee should take 6 weeks before the child is born and postnatal leave means the employee can take the remaining 8 weeks from the date of birth. If the child is diagnosed with a disability within eight weeks after delivery, the mother can apply for the protection period to be extended from eight to twelve weeks (source). The public health insurance fund pays for maternity leave up to a maximum amount. Employers must search this before to see if they need to pay a difference if the net wage is higher than what the public health insurance covers.

Paternity & parental leave:

Paternity and parental leave are the same in Germany. Parental leave is 36 months of unpaid leave in Germany and must be requested 7 weeks before the start date. It may be shared between the parents but parents must take at least 12 months of parental leave within the first three years; the remainder, with permission from the employer, can be used at any point between the child’s second and seventh birthday (source).


Employees who have been employed for 4 weeks before starting sick leave are eligible for 100% of their normal pay up to 6 weeks of sickness. After these 6 weeks, the health insurance will pay between 70-90% of the monthly salary, for up to 78 weeks in the first 3 years, calculated from the starting day of sickness.

Employees must inform employers of sickness as soon as possible. If sickness lasts for more than 3 days then employees need to submit a doctors certificate no later than the 4th day.

Probation period:

Probation periods depend on collective bargaining agreements but is generally up to 6 months.

If you are considering to hire in Germany, then Go ahead HiRe can support you with finding new employees. We can find you employees in: Sales, Management, Marketing, Engineering, IT & many more professions. Get in touch with us today.

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