Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0

Reimbursement clause in job contract

37 posts in this topic

Posted

Hello,

I am starting a new job (found through an HR company) in Germany soon and this is a part of the contract I need to sign:

--------------------

Sofern der Arbeitnehmer das Arbeitsverhältnis innerhalt der Probezeit aus welchem Grund auch immer beendet, erstattet der Arbeitnehmer dem Arbeitgeber die Aufwendungen für den Personalvermittler in voller Höhe.

--------------------

Is it normal for this clause to be existent in the contract when there is also:

--------------------

Die ersten sechs Monate des Anstellungsvertrages gelten als Probezeit. Während dieser Zeit kann das Arbeitsverhältnis mit einer Kündigungsfrist von 2 Wochen gekündigt werden.

--------------------

Does this mean that I need to cover all the expenses on my recruitment in case I decide to quit during the first 6 months (probation period) and even if I send a two weeks' notice?

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

Yes, exactly. If you cancel the contract within the 6 month probation time ( for whatever reason) you will have to come up for the recruiting costs.

If you don't like it there you should at least stay longer than 6 month before you send a notice.

And a 6 months probation time is quite normal.

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

Thanks for the quick reply!

Is it something normal to have such a clause in your job contract in Germany or should I worry about it? Also what's the usual recruitment cost? One salary before tax (brutto)?

I would ask the company themselves about that but it's already the weekend so I would have to wait until Mon when It's the deadline to sign the contract...

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

Wow seriously? This is illegal in Canada (in Québec, at least).

I know I know, different country, different laws, I'm just surprised that's all.

edit: Wait, I may have misunderstood. You mean the recruitement costs with the HR company, and not the recruitment/training costs with the company where you'll work?

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

I've been hired in a similar manner and not been liable with such a clause. The recruitment company got to keep the money if I stay longer than the set period. But would have lost it if I was a waster. Me being a superstar (in my brain) they probably would have got to keep it. But they sacked my other two colleagues hired at the same time, within a short time and I suspect the company never paid the UK recruitment company a penny for any of us.

It may not be an ideal clause but it does not mean the company is bad.

If you are unhappy, asking them to remove it may be a good test of their integrity.

If you are unsure about it, but do not feel the need to leave before 6 months, you could to ignore it. And hold out for 6 months.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

The clause seems ok to me. Ian: it only applies if the OP quits during Probezeit, not if as in the case of your colleagues he is fired.

I don't know how many recruiting companies cover themselves to some extent by doing this, but I'm sure there are several who do.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

La Poune, yeah, I understand it as just the costs with the HR company. But still in my country where I've been working for over 10 years I've never seen such a clause in a job contract. Usually they only pay the HR company after (and if) the test period is passed, that is usually 3-4 months.

ian, I really don't feel like leaving earlier than 6 months. I consider the job in a longer perspective. But, as you might be away, one really needs to get into a company's atmosphere for at least a short while (1-2 weeks maybe) before fully deciding whether it's the place he'd stay for a longer period. I mean that's what the Probation period is for after all - both sides to decide whether they like each other fully enough for a looong commitment.

So, I am not sure how to proceed. I have a good feeling about the company but I am reluctant to sign with such a clause. If it's a common practice in Germany, ok, well, I'll just sign it anyway...

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

I would insist they take the clause out. Probezeit is so that both parties to the agreement have the right to cancel it. The employer will not reimburse you for your moving costs, etc. if he decides to quit you first. He pays the employment agency to choose a good candidate; if they do a poor job why should they get paid? I would be very leery of an employer who puts this kind of crap in a contract. I'm 62 and have had a lot of jobs as an engineer and never saw this.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

Sofern der Arbeitnehmer das Arbeitsverhältnis innerhalt der Probezeit aus welchem Grund auch immer beendet, erstattet der Arbeitnehmer dem Arbeitgeber die Aufwendungen für den Personalvermittler in voller Höhe.

..if he decides to quit you first.

Different situation. In the OP's, it's about the OP guitting. In gary911's it's the company firing the OP. OP wouldn't have to pay then.

How is the recruitment agency at fault if the candidate uses it as a stepping stone to get into the country, ten dumps it after a few weeks when something more attractive turns up?

I doubt very much that you will be able to get them to remove that clause; just asking will start alarm bells going off in their heads that you are already considering throwing it in.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

put yourself in the position of the company. they hired a HR firm to get you; they invest a big of money to relocate you and pay for the services.. you come over; decide "nah.. what a bunch of dicks" and leave - they just want to make sure that they protect their investment with hiring someone via a HR firm. in some countries; this isn't legal.. what typically happens, (as i used to recruit a lot) is that if you use a HR company and you fire or they quit in the first six months; the company is responsible for finding a replacement - free of charge. if they are putting this clause in your contract to make you pay for it; then you should just say "how about finding a better HR firm and get them to guarentee a candidate that will stay > 6 months". personally; i wouldn't sign this - how about taking to the HR firm and see if they will take responsibility for it, if not.. consider finding a new HR firm that has better policies.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

ardiri, you do realise that your suggestion would force him to ditch the job offer, since the recruiter is hired by the company to find suitable candidates. If he switches to a different recruiter, he will lose his option on the job he has been offered.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

You can't negotiate based on a potentially unlimited penalty. Before you sign, at least get the company to tell you what those costs would be. Get an agreed figure put in the contract not a phrase like 'all associated costs'.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

Money should only flow from company to the employees. The other way round is a scam, or at least an abusive situation.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

OP, just relax and sign it...

I am not a lawyer but not specifing the sum you have to pay completly voids this clause...

Cheers

Franklan

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

I guess they could prove what the sum was with a receipt. From what I've heard from other sources it's usually one month` salary before tax.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

franklan would be right in case the company would demand a sum which the OP couldn't estimate or know before signing. But as the OP already said, the "usual" sum, 1 month's salary,

is common and a court could well decide that the clause is valid.

It's up to the OP. You already take a significant risk if you leave your job and move to another one. Always risky, and if the new job is abroad it's even more risky ( and possibly more expensive) . The clause, the amount you might lose in addition, wouldn't worry me too much. Moving abroad for a new job- that's the question which matters.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

First ask to take it out. If they don't budge then make sure there is a reasonable cap your risk is known.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

ardiri, you do realise that your suggestion would force him to ditch the job offer, since the recruiter is hired by the company to find suitable candidates. If he switches to a different recruiter, he will lose his option on the job he has been offered.

first option; ask to get it removed. second option; talk to recruiting agency.. third option; take the job - put up with whatever they dish out for 6 months.. last options; screw them all over, tell em where to go. a few options before ditching it.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

I'm just curious about something, Krasi0. Since you posted this late last night, did they make the offer yesterday? And they expect you to have it signed by Monday? Sounds like a big rush to me and I would be a little leery.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

garyh911, you reason correctly. They need a new person starting ASAP and also I am eager to start, too. So I guess it's both sides (+ the HR as a catalyst) that rushed things a lot... I had other companies waiting for my confirmation to their offers so I pushed for a sooner answer on this job.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

I guess they could prove what the sum was with a receipt. From what I've heard from other sources it's usually one month` salary before tax.

One month's salary? That may be true for rather basic jobs. Once you start talking about professional and managerial positions you rather have to multiply that several times.

I have never seen a clause like that and I very much doubt its validity. Unlike e.g. relocation and training costs where courts have allowed some clawbacks by the employers, finding and hiring personnel is entirely within the sphere of the employer. It is also unfair as they can still let you go within the probation period without incurring some kind of penalty. Courts are looking very critically at such one sided curtailments of employees' rights. I wouldn't sign a contract with such a clause.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

I don't know whether or not it is illegal. I definitely would strike it out before signing as this is repugnant.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

I really don't know what is generally done in the business, but I'd think it must be legal (since it is legal for recruiters to charge a fee from recruitees upfront). But I have to say, I don't understand why everyone is claiming it is repugnant.

An example:

Employee gets 10000€ per month (just to make it easy)

Company pays 10000€ to recruiter (although from what I've found, it can often be more like 20% of the yearly salary)

Employee stays for 3 months and then finds a more interesting job and quits to the end of the 4th month.

The company has paid 10000€ fee, 40000€ salary (+ about 40% ? social security and whatever costs), plus training, and has received very little productivity from the employee, who was still in training and coming up to speed during this time. The company then has to pay for the whole search all over again.

I don't see why the company shouldn't request those 10000€ back from the leaving employee in this situation.

And I can certainly understand why a company which isn't allowed to do this would prefer to take less risk in employing people (e.g. by taking on a locally-based German with a solid background of several years at another company), which would actually disadvantage foreigners.

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

ruapehu, just another PoV is that company would be able to search for candidates without using a HR company at all and save those potential expenses. I, myself, wasn't even aware that behind the online job offer there was an HR company although I know most companies use such services. So using HR wasn't my (the employee's) decision at all. Also it's a position for a highly qualified professional so maybe, yeah, the compensation could be more than 1 month's salary as pointed above although I don't know the specific number yet.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

I can certainly understand your scenerio however I doubt that that happens very often, does it? Maybe in Germany! In over 40 years of working I never knew anyone to just up and quit for another job, at least not in my profession. Look at it the other way around. If I move to the other end of Germany for a new job and my wife has to quit and find a new job, too, we incur a lot of expenses - probably more than the employer paid to his head hunter. If the company quits me for whatever reason, valid or not ( and I know one person quit on their last day of Probezeit) is the employer going to reimburse me for all of the money I had to spent? Of course not! It's just one of the costs of doing business for both employer and employee.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0