Germany is a federal state made up of 16 states. The civil law, law of association and other labor laws are entirely governed by Federal Law.
Germany has 9 national holidays. There are also 10 regional holidays that are celebrated in certain states and areas.
- 1st January – New Year’s Day
- 10th April – Good Friday
- 13th April – Easter Monday
- 1st May – Labour Day
- 21st May – Ascension Day – 39 days after Easter Sunday
- 1st June – Whit Monday
- 3rd October – German Unity Day
- 25th December – Christmas Day
- 26th December – St. Stephen’s Day
PTO (Paid Time Off)
- Vacation/Annual Paid Leave
Employees are entitled to annual leave of 20 days, based on a 5-day-week pursuant to the Federal Paid Vacation Act. This means that the employees are entitled to an annual leave of four weeks in a calendar year. Depending on the industry, employees can usually receive between 25 and 30 days of annual leave per year. Special rules apply to certain groups of people, such as young people under the age of 18 and people with disabilities.
Employees who consistently perform heavy or hazardous work are entitled to receive the additional leave.
- Rollovers and payout of unused hours
- Use-it-or-lose-it policy – Not specified by law.
- PTO payout at the termination – Not specified by law.
Maternity Leave, Child Raising Leave, Parental Leave
Maternity protection is governed by the Maternity Protection Act (MPA). Employers must organize a workplace and work tasks in favor of pregnant and nursing employees. This protection applies as soon as the employer has been informed about the existent pregnancy. A ban is then put on heavy physical work or piecework as well as on work with dangerous materials.
Employees are entitled to up to 6 weeks of paid maternity leave prior to the birth of a child and up to 8 weeks of paid leave after the birth of a child.
In cases of premature or multiple births, the leave can last up to 12 weeks after birth.
If a doctor certifies that the pregnant employee must partly or even entirely stop working to avoid a risk to herself or the unborn child’s life or health, the employer must partly or even entirely release her from work.
Child Raising Leave
Employees on child-raising leave are protected against any dismissal either with or without notice 4 months after the birth of a child.
The claim to such leave can be made by a female as well as male employees but is inadmissible whilst the ban on occupation under the Maternity Protection Act applies. During child-raising leave, the mutual duties laid down in the employment contract are suspended.
Child raising leave is unpaid and can last up to the child’s fourth year.
After the birth of a child, both – male and female – employees are entitled to a maximum of three years of parental leave per child. During this period, the employer is not obliged to make any payments to the employee. Employees have a statutory right to work part-time (between 15 and 30 hours per week) during parental leave unless urgent business reasons prevent such part-time work. After the expiry of the parental leave, the employee is entitled to their previous position.
Germany Leave Laws – Sick Leave
After four weeks of employment, the employee is entitled to continued payment by the employer in case of sickness for a duration of six weeks pursuant to the Act on Continued Remuneration. The regular payment, which the employee would have earned without sick leave, needs to be paid by the employer.
In the event of illness, the employees must inform the employer of their incapacity for work and the anticipated duration of that incapacity as soon as possible. In the case of illness lasting longer than three days, an employee must submit a doctor’s certificate no later than the following working day.
Jury Duty Leave, and Voting Leave
There are no juries in German Courts. Voting leave is not specified by law.
The amount of leave due to the death of a family member is not specified by law. It is up to an employer and the company policy.