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German employment law

German employment law is divided into two areas: individual employment law and collective employment law. Individual employment law concerns relations between the individual  employee and the employer, while collective employment law regulates the collective representation and organisation of employees as well as the rights and obligations of employees’ representatives.

German employment law is not consolidated into a single labour code: the main sources are Federal legislation, case law, collective bargaining agreements, works council agreements and individual employment contracts.


Key Points

  • Employees who are not from the EU/EEA require a residence title for the purpose of taking up employment.
  • A statutory minimum wage of 12.00 EUR (since 1 October 2022) currently applies to all employees in all sectors of business. The amount of the minimum wage is reviewed every two years (the next review will take place until 30 June 2023, with a potential increase of the minimum wage having effect as of 1 January 2024). Aside from the statutory minimum wage, there are special regulations and collective bargaining agreements within certain sectors.
  • Overtime pay is not expressly regulated by law, but is subject to the employment agreement, collective bargaining agreements and works council agreements.
  • Trade union representatives support employees and works councils, but do not have participation rights within a company.
  • Due to the high level of protection against dismissal, it is reasonably common for employment to be terminated by a separation agreement.
  • Severance payments are paid if a number of conditions are fulfilled.

Our member firm

Pusch Wahlig Workplace Law
Beisheim Center
Berliner Freiheit 2
10785 Berlin
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Also offices in Düsseldorf, Frankfurt am Main, Munich, Hamburg and Cologne.



+49 302 062 9530

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