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Leave Policy

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Germany

Leave Policy in Germany

Updated on:
16 Jan, 2024
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449
/month
(billed annually)
Annually
Pay monthly at a discounted rate with a 12-month commitment
$
399
/month
(billed monthly)
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Table of Content

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Introduction

In Germany, most labor rules are governed by federal legislation, which is further influenced by collective bargaining agreements between trade unions and employer organizations. These agreements usually involve rules governing various employment conditions, like leave policies and more.

Besides, work councils led by employees play a significant role in shaping employment policies. This approach incorporates mutual agreement, creating favorable working conditions for employees and employers. 

This detailed guide will provide you with all the information you need to know about leave policy in Germany.

Adoption Leave in Germany

  • Adoption leave in Germany is not specified under any particular legislation or act. Therefore, regardless of whether they are biological or adoptive parents, employees are entitled to the same amount of parental leave. 
  • Employees who adopt or foster children are eligible for up to three years of parental leave, valid until the child is eight. 

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Earned Leave in Germany

Under the Federal Vacation Act that governs earned leave in Germany, you must provide your staff with at least 24 days of earned leave each year. Nevertheless, this figure could change based on their employment contract, including length of service and the number of days worked per week. You can also offer compensatory leave to employees who work overtime or on a public holiday.

Working Days Minimum Earned Leaves Per Year
Five days a week 20 days
Six days a week 24 days

Further, you may allow unused leave (up to six days) to continue only until the end of March of the following year. 

Maternity Leave in Germany

You must extend maternity leave to your employees according to the rules established by the Maternity Protection Act (MPA), which regulates maternity leave in Germany. 

Maternity Leave Features Maternity Leave Details
Start of maternity Leave Six weeks before the due date
End of maternity leave Eight weeks after the baby is born
Maternity leave for premature birth 12 weeks after birth
Maternity leave for premature twins 18 weeks after birth
Maternity leave for twins 12 weeks after birth
Maternity Leave for Disabled Child 12 weeks after birth

Leave policy in Germany offers financial support and job security for expectant mothers, promoting a smooth transition to parenthood: 

  • The maternity allowance will be divided between you and the health insurance fund, similar to many maternity policies around the world.
  • You may increase the difference if the government benefit falls below the employee's average net monthly income.
  • Furthermore, you can terminate employment during the Statutory Maternity Protection (SMP) between 12 weeks before and eight weeks after childbirth.

Parental Leave in Germany

Parental leave in Germany is a right that does not require prior employer permission for children under three.

Parental Leave Features Parental Leave Details
Duration of parental leave Up to 36 months or three years
Payment Unpaid leave
Eligibility Available to both adoptive and biological parents
Flexible distribution Yes (employees can take the leave together or individually, all at once or in parts as needed)

The law empowers parents with flexible leave options and financial support, facilitating a smooth transition to parenthood by including: 

  • Permission is required for children between three and eight.
  • You may ask eligible parents to work part-time (up to 30 hours per week) while on leave.
  • You may facilitate ‘Elterngeld’ (parent money) to compensate for lost income based on pre-leave earnings.

Get inspired and adopt best practices from parental leave worldwide to incentivize top talents in Germany.

Paternity Leave in Germany

  • You may grant up to two weeks of paid paternity leave in Germany. 
  • You must ensure that the pay during paternity leave is not lower than 67% of the employee's previous salary.

Public Holidays in Germany

There are nine public holidays in Germany, including three movable holidays and five holidays with flexible dates: 

Holiday Date Type
New Year’s Day 1 January Fixed
Labour Day 1 May Fixed
The Day of German Unity 3 October Fixed
Christmas Day 25 December Fixed
Second Day of Christmas 26 December Fixed
Good Friday Friday before Easter Sunday (dates vary each year) Movable
Easter Monday Second day of Easter Movable
Ascension Day 40th day of Easter Movable
Whit Monday/Pentecost Monday 7th Monday after Easter Movable

Sick Leave Policy in Germany

Sick leave in Germany is governed by the Continued Remuneration Act (Entgeltfortzahlungsgesetz), which lays down the following regulations:

Sick Leave Features Sick Leave Details
Eligibility for paid sick leave Employees who have worked for at least four weeks are eligible
Payment You must pay full salary for the first six weeks or 42 days of sick leave.
Additional Benefits Possible (unemployment/disability) after six weeks
  • You may ask employees to prove their illness and estimate the duration of sick leave with a doctor’s certificate. 
  • Further, the statutory sick pay from the government starts after six weeks at 70% of an employee's normal salary but never less than 90% of the net salary.

Casual Leave In Germany

  • There is no guaranteed right to casual leave in Germany under the national labor law.
  • However, you may grant unpaid leave at your discretion or according to certain collective bargaining agreements. 

Unpaid Leave in Germany

You may grant unpaid leave to an employee under certain conditions before initiating termination proceedings: 

  • If an employee needs to care for a close relative in an emergency, you may grant them a 10-day unpaid leave.
  • If your company has over 15 employees, an employee can request up to six months off or part-time work. However, you can decline the request if you have less than 15 employees.
  • If your company has more than 25 employees, an employee can request up to 24 months of reduced working time up to 15 hours per week. 

Other Leaves

You may allow employees with at least one year of employment in Germany to take leave for particular personal reasons, referred to as "Sonderurlaub." 

This unpaid leave allows them to attend to important matters like mourning and funeral, caring for sick children, sabbatical leave, or volunteering. In some instances, special leave might be paid.

Easily Navigate The Leave Policy in Germany with Skuad

Now that you're well-versed in Germany's leave policies, Skuad can further assist you. From onboarding to payroll, taxes, and compliance across 160+ countries (including Germany), Skuad simplifies it all without needing local entity setups. 

Sign up for a demo today to streamline your remote hiring process in Germany.

FAQs

Q1. What are the leave rules in Germany?

A1. The leave rules in Germany provide precise guidelines for employers to promote a fair and efficient working environment. It prescribes a minimum of 20 paid vacation days per year, along with paid sick leave for up to six weeks. For new parents, Germany offers 14 weeks of maternity leave and up to three years of parental leave as a right. Special leaves are also prescribed.

Q2. How many leave days per year in Germany?

A2. If an employee works for five days a week, they are entitled to 20 days off. If they work six days, they will get 24 days off.

Q3. How many holidays does Germany have a year?

A3. Germany has nine public holidays, including five set holidays and four with flexible dates.

Q4. What is the sick leave policy in Germany?

A4. In Germany, Employees who have worked for at least four weeks are entitled to six weeks of statutory sick pay. For the first six weeks, employees receive their entire salary, after which their health insurance covers sick pay.

Hire and pay dedicated developers in 160+ countries

G2 badge
limited-offer-banner
EOR in 
Germany
Monthly
best value
Annually
Pay monthly at a discounted rate with a 12-month commitment
$
399
/month
(billed annually)
G2 badge

Hire and pay dedicated developers in 160+ countries

G2 badge
limited-offer-banner
EOR in 
Germany
Monthly
$
449
/month
(billed annually)
Annually
Pay monthly at a discounted rate with a 12-month commitment
$
399
/month
(billed monthly)
G2 badge

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