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Germany: Termination of employment

Updating author: Dr Viktoria Winstel and Dr Timo Karsten, Osborne Clarke, Germany

Original author: Karen Ullmann

See the legal services provided by the updating author of XpertHR International > Germany, including any discounts/offers for subscribers.


  • Statutory minimum notice periods apply to the termination of employment contracts. (See Notice periods)
  • There are various rules regarding how employment may be terminated and for what reasons. (See Unfair dismissal - general)
  • If a specific job is eliminated due to a business decision, the employer may dismiss the employee on operational grounds. (See Unfair dismissal - operational grounds)
  • An employer must give a warning that it will no longer tolerate an employee's misconduct before dismissing on this ground, save in cases of gross misconduct. (See Unfair dismissal - conduct-related grounds)
  • If an employee is no longer able to fulfil the requirements of the job because of a deficiency in their attributes and aptitudes, the employer may dismiss the employee fairly. (See Unfair dismissal - grounds related to the employee's person)
  • There are various rules regarding dismissals on the ground of redundancy. (See Redundancy rights)
  • The statutory pensionable age is 67. However, for those individuals born prior to 1964, there are incremental stages of retirement up to the age of 67. (See Retirement)
  • On termination of an employment contract, the employee is entitled to receive a basic reference from the employer with certain information. (See References)
  • Employers are free to agree on post-termination confidentiality clauses, but they must take reasonable steps to protect trade secrets. (See Post-termination confidentiality clauses)