How to quit your job in Germany

169 posts in this topic

I know there are not alot of jobs about, I know I should be thankful to have one atall, but I absolutely detest my job, and am gonna quit.

 

Now, I know I won't be able to claim any dole money, but doubt I would even if I could - I don't do forms.

 

What I would like to know is, is there some 'special' way to resign in Germany? Sounds like a ridiculous question I know, but I find myself in a ridiculous country, where ridiculous things seem to be relatively common. I would really like to write a scathing letter about my reasons for leaving what is the most poorly managed company I have ever worked in (and I lived in Asia remember) but my good sense will kick in and I will no doubt write the standard "whilst I have enjoyed my time here...all the best for the future" crap.

 

Is that then it? Is there some stupid form or proceedure (with a 340 syllable name no effing doubt) that I should know about??

Seeing as I designed HR systems for 3 years, and had to study employment law, I should not even have to ask, but this is Germany.

 

I am relatively pissed off that my notice period is 3 months (!!!) from the end of the calendar month in which I quit, so even if I scribble some shit down now, and hand it to HR, I would not actually be available for work until bloody march!!! Seeing as I have been here only 18 months, I see that as outrageous, and it may cause a problem in looking for a job I think, but its my own fault, I signed the employment contract, so fair play.

Maybe I should count my blessings that I have a job, but there MUST be something better out there. I work in the posh-sounding field of "Business Intelligence" and there is plenty of work back in Blighty, but not alot in France or Spain, and SWMBO is adamant that we should stay here another 2 years at least (she actually LIKES her job!), so I'm still gonna be in Germany for a while, and will just have to hope that the force is with me..

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What I would like to know is, is there some 'special' way to resign in Germany?
As far as I know, its pretty much the same as the UK - you just write a letter saying you wish to terminate your contract, and give it to your boss. You could also ask HR. But I wouldn't write a negative letter (regardless of country) as these things tend to come back and haunt you later in life.

 

 

I am relatively pissed off that my notice period is 3 months (!!!) from the end of the calendar month in which I quit

But remember it works both ways! Personally I prefer the added job security - today is my first day of "release" from work (meaning I sit at home or in the pub), yet I'm still getting paid until the end of the year. We got 6 months notice at the Munich site, while the employees at the US site were given 10 minutes to pack up their stuff and leave the building.

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I wouldn't write a negative letter (regardless of country)

Nah, nor would I, but always wish I could, the words come soooo easily!!

 

Bloody corporate rubbish. If I was going back to the UK, as I would not need a reference, but they are pretty strong on that reference letter crap over here are they not? I cannot imagine my boss giving anybody a worthwhile reference anyway. He has no idea what anyone really does, thinks that any success is down to the fact that he is at the helm, and seems to manage the company on whims and kneejerk reactions. I cannot believe the incompetent pettyminded jobsworth shit that goes on here, but am not particularly convinced that what I am seeing is particular to this firm, I think it may just be how things are in Germany. Passing the buck, avoiding responsibility, covering your own arse and screw the rest - pretty normal everywhere these days, but seems more rife in Germany.

 

So you are on release now eh AM? Done any job hunting yourself atall, or not planning to stick in Munich?

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our notice period is 6 months 'til end of the quarter, but a lawyer i visited said this cannot be held up in court, 3 months is normal. but there has only been one case where a collegue was held to this 6 months (he got an expensive training).

 

anyhow, all collegues who have quit have gone to get an "Ablösungsvertrag" which means the co. and he/she agreed to cancel their current contract, that you cannot sue the co. afterwards, blah blah blah. of the 6 collegues who have quit since i've been here, they have all been able to get out within 3-8 weeks. the danger of course is the co. can say, well you can leave tomorrow.

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Hiya

as for resigning, you only need to do the one line letter containing your resignation and date of leaving according to contract.

That is all they are interested in and they will basically ignore the rest.

It is better to be smug that you are leaving than anything else.

Sometimes you can get out of the contract earlier by asking if you can avoid it - I managed this at one place I worked for and got a 1 month including leave instead of 9 month, but this depends how important you are to the team (or how much they want to piss you off).

Cheers

Katrina

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I am relatively pissed off that my notice period is 3 months ... I would not actually be available for work until bloody march!!! Seeing as I have been here only 18 months, I see that as outrageous, and it may cause a problem in looking for a job I think

3 months is pretty standard here Don, so any prospective employer will understand that you cannot start until March. It sucks but it shouldn't affect your job chances. My notice period is also 3 months. But my main question is why quit, until you have something else sorted. Personally I am (***looking over shoulder***) also on the qt actively looking for a job and have a few interviews set up, but will not quit until I have it sorted (and until I have my Christmas bonus). Btw your company is not the most poorly managed, that would be mine. It must be something about the Leuchtenbergring air, oder ;)

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but they are pretty strong on that reference letter crap over here are they not?
Depends on the company. I never had to show any references when I was applying for jobs here. Probably the most important thing is that you can do the work (or can bullshit well enough to make them think you can do the work).

 

 

the danger of course is the co. can say, well you can leave tomorrow.

But if they say that after you've formally resigned following the correct procedure etc, they still have to pay you for the next 3 months, right?

 

 

and until I have my Christmas bonus

If you're on the 13.5 salaries scheme that a lot of companies here seem to have, they have to pay the "bonus" pro-rate for the months that you've worked.

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hi malc, i meant if you go to the company and say you want to quit but get out earlier than what is in the contract, they can say either you go now and we both agree to it (which obviously you hvae to sign, meaning they are released from having to pay you anything), or you will be held to your 3 months notice.

 

an example: a collegue last year got a good-paying job, but had to start within 8 weeks. he had 20 days of vacation left. went to the company and said i want to quit, i will work 4 weeks, then take my 4 weeks vacation and everyone is happy. the company said, we will release you from your contract immedieately, but you will forfeit your 20 days of vacation or you stay until the time period your contract states. his lawyer asked him what was more important. so he worked another 3 weeks, then had 4 weeks off with no pay or vacation (which he forfeited) between jobs, but now has a kick-ass, well-paid job at AOK.

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Hi again,

 

But if they say that after you've formally resigned following the correct procedure etc, they still have to pay you for the next 3 months, right?
Yes that is correct - you can work it or sometimes get "gardening leave" if you are lucky where you get paid but not come in (partic. if you are leaving to join a competitor). A Freistellung can sometimes mean that you have to sign away your notice rights though meaning that you will lose your chance of dole and the pay during your otice period. Never sign anything on the spot (hey you know this already) and remember things like health insurance cover etc.

 

Probably the most important thing is that you can do the work (or can bullshit well enough to make them think you can do the work).

I've always had to show all references (but they don't phone and check to see if they are real so *in an emergency* you might want to "acquire" some headed notepaper and word templates well in advance).

*ahem*

Anyway, it is illegal to write an openly bad reference but these ladies have a really good website (German only but they do answer mails in English) all about job hunting and the legal stuff http://www.selbstmarketing.de I used to be in touch with them a lot through other forums/work and they have a lot of free info on that site.

Katrina

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Never sign anything on the spot

Good point. If your company has a works council (Betriebsrat) it's worth having any contracts checked by them before signing.

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Does anyone know what the situation is with helath insurance over here if you quit your job? I really don't understand the situation, but am I correct in the assumption that currently my employer pays half, and so do I. So, if I quit, do I have to pay double what I am paying now? I imagine if you are made redundant or whatever the case is very different, but for those that just quit?

 

Thanks for any input.

 

DR

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Anyone got any experience or info with handing in notice in Germany? This is my first time :ph34r: What should be in the letter of resignation and / or are there any gotchas?

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Done it a couple of times and had no probs but then they were 'friendly' partings of ways. There doesn't need to be much in there, just make sure you refer to what contract you are giving notice on and the date of termination.

 

I might be able to dig out one of the letters if it would help.

 

Gotchas? Don't forget to sign it! I did once :blink:

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Hiya MM before you quit, you might want to look into getting personal legal insurance. It doesn't seem so expensive but might come in handy in case of any problems, particularly if your going to work for a competitor. A mate of mine quit his job, gave proper notice etc. etc. anyway to make a long story short it got ugly. He won in court but the legal bills amounted to 75K euros. I think thats a pretty extreme example, but luckily he had that policy and only had to cover a small deductible. Good luck,

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What should be in the letter of resignation

I'd write something like:

 

Sehr geehrte(r ) Your Boss's Name,

hiermit kündige ich das mit Ihnen vereinbarte Arbeitsverhältnis fristgerecht zum dd. mmm yyyy.

Mit freundlichen Grüßen,

 

Your name

 

Don't think it matters too much if it's not 100% gramatically correct, unless your boss wants to be a cunt.

 

Most important is that you check the conditions of the contract to find out what the correct notice period is (often has to be to the end of a month or quarter). Also might be worth checking if you need to give a reason for termination.

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dont believe you need to give any reason.

 

hiermit kuendige ich... now fuck off and let me get on with my life etc will suffice.

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No I was told that giving a concrete reason is not a good idea. Just put "aus persönlichen Gründen". That's a good enough reason and they are not entitled to question you any more closely on it.

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Cheers for the info guys! Yeah, I reckon I'll keep it short and sweet: I have a feeling it wont be a friendly parting (they wont want me to go, because I'm great so I am :) ).There is an end to the nightmare...

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dont believe you need to give any reason

My contract explicitly states that I don't have to give a reason. It's not entirely unreasonable to assume that some contracts do state that... ;)

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