Letter of reference mandatory for past position in Germany?

21 posts in this topic

Hey guys, 

Again, I am sorry if this topic has already been discussed. After a quick browsing on the forum, I did not find a quick answer, so I am starting a new thread. 

 

I just quit my job, wasn't the best position, ahd issues with the team leader for being sick a lot (with valid doctor notes). However, my last day ahs been at the end of August, and so far I still ahve not received a letter of reference. I thought letters of references are mandatory in Germany. I emailed HR several times and got the silent treatment. I just want to know if I can expect such a letter in the next days, or if this is something it is not required by German law. 

 

Thank you. 

 

Cherry

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A reference letter can take between 3 and 6 months.

 

I would wait until after 3 months and then give them a phone call.

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2 minutes ago, RenegadeFurther said:

A reference letter can take between 3 and 6 months.

 

I would wait until after 3 months and then give them a phone call.

 

I see. Thanks for the clarification. It is just unfortunate that my former employer could not inform me of this by replying to my emails. 

 

Cherry

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1 minute ago, Cherryalessia said:

 

I see. Thanks for the clarification. It is just unfortunate that my former employer could not inform me of this by replying to my emails. 

 

Cherry

 

Your reference letter is way way way down on the companies priorities.

 

The company will write your letter when they have time or when they can be bothered.

 

It could be today, tomorrow or whenever they want. 

 

They really don`t have to tell you jack sh*t.

 

It is just the way things are.

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The above information is incorrect - dangerously so, in fact. According to § 630 BGB, your employer is required to give you a letter of reference "upon the termination of a permanent service" - e.g. on or shortly after your last day of work - but only if the employee demands it.

 

If you wait too long to make a demand, you may forfeit your right to obtain the letter.

 

Write to them - via snail mail, with return receipt - and give them two weeks to send you your letter of reference. If they don't deliver within your defined deadline, your only fallback is to sue.

 

 

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Its a bit of both.  Yes you do have to ask for a Zeugniss but yes it also often takes ages.  Whatever the law says (I trust what El Jeffo says but dont know the laws in detail myself) it is perfectly normal for it to take at least a few weeks and often months.

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3 minutes ago, El Jeffo said:

The above information is incorrect - dangerously so, in fact. According to § 630 BGB, your employer is required to give you a letter of reference "upon the termination of a permanent service" - e.g. on or shortly after your last day of work - but only if the employee demands it.

 

 

So please tell me the timescales of how long does the company has to write this letter ?

 

It is not uncommon for people to be waiting months for their Zeugnis.

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OP- since you have just quit, you can request a Zwischenzeugnis (interim written reference), which technically does not have to be provided to you until the day prior to the end of your term of employment, but which usually is supposed to be provided within two weeks of your request. I second the notion of sending it snail mail with return receipt.  

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Thank you for all the replies. I quit a while back, my last day was on August 31, which means my past employer is way past due with the letter. I do not need it that bad, but it would have been nice for HR to at least reply to my emails and let me know it is coming. So far I have sent two emails and got no reply. 

What can I do about it? I can send that mail, but that will take another few days.

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On 10/30/2017, 11:58:47, El Jeffo said:

The above information is incorrect - dangerously so, in fact. According to § 630 BGB, your employer is required to give you a letter of reference "upon the termination of a permanent service" - e.g. on or shortly after your last day of work - but only if the employee demands it.

 

If you wait too long to make a demand, you may forfeit your right to obtain the letter.

 

Write to them - via snail mail, with return receipt - and give them two weeks to send you your letter of reference. If they don't deliver within your defined deadline, your only fallback is to sue.

 

 

El Jeffo, I never thought I needed to demand such a letter, I thought it was normal that they would give it to me, since I have worked there for 2,5 years. Are you saying that now it is too late to ask for one? 

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Here's a site with lots of information concerning Arbeitszeugnis. Unfortunately, it's all in German. 

https://www.karriereakademie.de/karriereblog/arbeitszeugnis-frist

Right at the bottom there are 3 samples to choose from.  It seems that writing an Arbeitszeugnis is a task noone loves to do, so it's advised to remind your previous employer to get it done. Apparently by law, the time limit you should demand one is 3 years, though some courts have restricted this to 1 year. 

 

There are also other sites dealing with Arbeitszeugnis. A Google search: Arbeitszeugnis wie lange warten

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PS In your snail mail, include a stamped self-addressed envelope so there's no excuse for them to dawdle.

 

I don't know what it is about a measly stamped envelope, maybe it's a germany thing about splitting restaurant bills to the last cent, but it must send shivers up people's spines and make them panic to not hold onto it for too long. I've even had my envelopes returned back to me unused as if they were were returning some sacred artifact, and wanted to prove they could afford their own stamp. Hilarious. Try it.

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Hello, can somebody provide an example of how to write to the employer to ask for a reference letter ?

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On 15.8.2018, 14:47:42, bbogdanmircea said:

Hello, can somebody provide an example of how to write to the employer to ask for a reference letter ?

 

Do you need it after leaving the company or are u still working there? You need it in german right?

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Should one provide Arbeitszeugnis (reference letter) from the current employer when applying to a new employer for a new position?

Asking for a Zeugnis or a Zwischenzeugnis from the manager is signal that you want to leave the company while no one knows what will happen and if you will get the position.

Any experiences?

 

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I didn’t submit one when I applied for my current job; however, I did have to provide one when the new job offered me the position in order to sign my contract. Basically on the day that I quit my old job, I also had to ask for a recommendation letter in order to be able to sign the contract for the new job 😅🫣🫣

 

öffentliche Dienst 🤭🤭

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15 hours ago, AWGN said:

Asking for a Zeugnis or a Zwischenzeugnis from the manager is signal that you want to leave the company

It is also quite common to ask for one when you change jobs within the company or when your boss changes. Every time I had a boss who left (left the company, retired etc.) I asked for a Zwischenzeugnis. 

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I asked for one after being on the payroll for 10 years and had a change of manager as well. Basically, I wrote the Zwischenzeugnis merely myself since my manager didn’t know exactly what I do all day :).

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On 15.8.2018, 14:47:42, bbogdanmircea said:

Hello, can somebody provide an example of how to write to the employer to ask for a reference letter ?

 

I would send one letter to your boss and another to HR before you leave.

If you're not asking for a "qualified reference letter" as an active employee, they can provide a basic document, that you worked there from [date] till [date].

If you're not asking at all or after you left the company, they do not have to provide anything.

 

************

Bitte um Ausstellung eines qualifizierten Arbeitszeugnisses
                                                                                                                  
Sehr geehrte/r Frau/Herr xxx,

 

mein Arbeitsverhältnis in Ihrem Hause endet am [date of last working day].

Ich möchte Sie daher bitten, mir ein qualifiziertes, berufsförderndes Arbeitszeugnis auszustellen.

Anbei finden Sie eine Übersicht meiner Tätigkeiten und Aufgaben, die ich in Ihrem Unternehmen übernommen habe.

[list of duties and responsibilities]

 

Bitte stellen Sie mein qualifiziertes Arbeitszeugnis zeitnah bis zum [date end of month after leave].

 

Ich danke Ihnen für die gute und vertrauensvolle Zusammenarbeit und wünsche Ihnen weiterhin alles Gute und viel Erfolg.

 

Mit freundlichen Grüßen,

 

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Had 2 new jobs in the last 10 years working for advertising agencies in Munich. Never been asked for a reference/Zeugnis. All about how good you come across in the interview...

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