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Overview of Germany

Germany lies in the heart of Europe with a population of 83,1 Million. The national language is German but a large percentage of the population speaks English and/or another language. Germany has the largest economy in Europe and the fourth largest in the world. Germans are known for being forward thinkers and planners and this has led to a booming start-up scene in the nations capital – Berlin. While doing business, Germans tend to keep it serious and to the point. Business and personal life are strictly kept separate and being on time to business appointments is important.

Currency of Germany


Health Insurance and the Social Security system of Germany

If you live in Germany, per the law you have to be insured. This can be either through public health insurance or private health insurance. One only qualifies for private health insurance, if one earns a specific amount per month.

German health insurance covers all costs for the entire treatment of illnesses, including the necessary diagnostic measures, medication, remedies and aids, prevention, follow-up care and sick pay. This includes necessary hospital stays in a shared room

Employer cost of Germany

The cost for an employer to hire someone in Germany is a plus of 19.88% to the gross salary.

Salary and bonuses of Germany

Regular employees are paid at the end of the month.

Employers may grant their employees bonuses in addition to fixed basic salary for a variety of reasons, for example, for hitting an agreed upon target, loyalty to the company or just as a Christmas gratuity (13th monthly salary).

Public Holidays in Germany

January 1st – New Years Day

2 days before Easter Sunday - Good Friday

Easter Sunday

Easter Monday

May 1st – Labour day

39 days after Easter (usually in May) - Ascension Day

50 days after Easter (usually in May/June) - Whit Monday

3rd October – Germany Unity Day

December 25th – Christmas

December 26th – Boxing Day

Working Hours in Germany

In Germany, the usual work day is 8 hours long. The legal maximum a day is 10 hours or 48 hours per week. Regular working hours are between 8am and 6pm. A 30 min break must be given after 6 hours of consecutive work.

Vacation in Germany

In Germany you can receive anything between 20 and 30 days vacation time. The normal amount is 24 days. If one work a 5 day week, 20 days is the minimum one must receive.

Sick Leave in Germany

After an employee has worked for a company for at least 4 weeks, he is entitled to sick pay. One is required to bing in a sick note from a doctor after the third day. However, some companies require a sick note on the first day already.

For the first 6 weeks of an illness, an employee receives 100% of his/her salary from the employer. German national health insurance compensates the employer for 80% of the paid sick pay as long as the employer does not employ more than 30 people.

After the first 6 weeks, you will receive sick benefits from your health insurance. This will be 70% of your gross income. An employee can receive this up to 78 weeks for the same illness.

Termination/Severance in Germany

When terminating an employment, one has to deliver a hard copy of the termination with an original signature of the employer or an authorised representative. The regular notice period is 4 weeks. The notice period increases after 2 years of services by another 4 weeks. After 5 years, the notice period goes up to 3 months and it continues to increase by a month after 8, 10, 12, 15 and 20 years of service. Agreements can be made to have a shorter or longer notice period.

Severance pay is not required by law but is usually agreed on to avoid or a settle a dispute regarding the termination. Negotiations start at 50% of a months salary.

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