Landesportal Schleswig-Holstein

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Flüchtlinge in Schleswig-Holstein

© Hans Kohrt

What rights do you have in the labour market?

Germany has a number of different statutory regulations and legal directives which ensure you protection as an employee.

Employment contract

The employment contact is prerequisite for every form of gainful employment in Germany. On principle, you will always be given such an employment contract in written form. You should read through the contract carefully because it will contain details of your job and place of work, working conditions, your duties, payment and much more besides. It will also define your rights and obligations. For example if your work is dangerous because you have to work on a roof, the boss must ensure that you are safe when working. If you do not understand something in the contract, be sure to ask for it to be explained to you. You will be asked to sign the contract to ensure that it is legally binding; it is therefore extremely important that you understand what the contents mean for you personally. As a rule, at least two copies are made of the contract – both of which will be signed by you and by the employer. The employer will retain one copy of the contract; you will be given the other copy.


Statutory minimum wages provisions apply to employment in Germany. All employers are legally obliged to pay an hourly rate of at least € 8,50 to all male and female employees. As a rule, all persons who are in gainful employment must surrender a portion of their wages/salary to the state (‟taxes”). An additional deduction is made for social insurance, part of which is also paid by the employer. You will pay contributions from your wages/salary to the statutory health, nursing care, accident, old-age pension and unemployment benefits insurance scheme. The amount of deductions made is dependent on many factors; you should seek advice on this subject.

Working hours

There are different models for the organization of working hours. The start and end of the working day are frequently dependent on the branch of employment and on the company itself.

Rest breaks are mandatory and an employee is only permitted to work without interruption for a specific time.
As a rule, most people in Germany work five days per week; most people are free on Saturdays and Sundays. In some branches, it is common practice also to work on weekends.

Further information may be found under the following link:

Ihre Rechte

zu den Inhalten in deutscher Sprache