Probation Period in Germany – All You Need To Know (2024)

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Last Update: Feb 23, 2024 @ 10:24 pm

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Are you moving to Germany because you got a new job there? Do you have multiple questions regarding your salary, terms and conditions, holidays, and probation period? If you are starting a new job, you will sign a contract with your new company and the employer. According to labour law, your contract will set some rules, obligations, and rights for both parties; the employee and the employer. This article will help you understand your probation period at a new workplace in Germany. You are on probation whenever you join a new workplace and accept a new job offer. Let's first understand what it means if you do not know the probation period.

Related Topic: Unemployement Benefit in Germany 

What is Probation Period in Germany

Suppose you got a new job offer in Germany and decided to join it to fulfil your career objectives and future goals. The first 6 months in your new job are considered your probation period. This is the orientation time when you learn about your employer, company, rules, corporate culture, day-to-day tasks, and company norms. On the other hand, your employer may learn about your skills, nature, behaviour, performance, and abilities to work in the team and the organization. A few employers have shorter or longer probation periods rather than having 6 months’ time, while others might have zero probation periods.

    Key Facts of Probation Period

    Some key facts of a probation period are given below;

    • Your employer will tell you about your probation period (zero, 3 months, 6 months). Three-month notice period is the most common in Germany, while a few employers have 6 months notice period in their contracts.
    • Losing a job during probation is easy if you are performing poorly. Your employer will fire you.
    • According to section 622, paragraph 3 of the German Civil Code, the maximum duration for a probation period is six months.
    • Your employer can easily fire you even without sharing any valid reason if you are in your probation period in Germany.
    • Few employers can give you a 2 weeks notice period when they fire you, so you can find another job.
    • You can terminate your job during probation if you do not want to continue with your organisation. In that case, the government will provide you with Unemployment Benefit.
    • According to the latest research, it has been studied that almost 20 to 25% of employment relationships end during the probation period.
    • If your probation period is short, you might get no notice before the firing decision by your employer.
    • You might feel depressed and tense during probation because your employer can fire you.

    Things You Must Know About Your Probation Period in Germany

    Well, there are multiple factors that you must consider to have a good probation period and show great performance to your employer. Your probation period will enable your employer to hire you permanently, and during this time, you can impress your employer by showing your hidden abilities and skills. There are multiple factors and rules that you must understand in detail before you are in your probation period so you can make your best during this time. Let’s know what these factors are.

    • Leaves
    • Vacations
    • Quitting job
    • Pregnancy
    • Getting a loan
    • Find an apartment

    Let’s understand each of the factors mentioned above a bit in detail.


      Problems can be with any human being, and so do with you. You can take leave from your job even if you are on probation. You can have sick days during your probation period if you are sick and need sick leave. Do not think you will not be paid if you take leaves because of sickness. Your employer will pay you if you are sick during your probation period.

      If your employment relationship lasts for less than four weeks when you get ill, the health insurance company will offer you a sickness benefit. Remember to have a sick note right after you join your new office. A sick note is compulsory to have sick pay by your health insurance in Germany.


      Consider it a myth if you hear that you should not take any vacation during your probation period. Remember that your vacations are prorated, and you are allowed to have 1/12 vacation every month. Once you are out of your probation period, you can have all your vacations for the year according to the Federal Holidays Act. Let’s understand it with an example.

      If you are entitled to 24 vacation days per year, you can take 2 monthly leaves. If you are not using any leave in 3 months’ time, you can use 8 leaves in your 4th month. But it is good to take fewer leaves during your vacation period rather than long vacations to impress your employer and show him that you are punctual.

      Quitting Job

      You might face challenges when you start a new job because you have a different environment. Your workplace is new. You have new people (your colleagues) around you. All the rules and regulations are different in your new organisation. You might find a new job. Whatever the case, consider quitting your current job. That is natural; you do not need to think much about that. You can quit your job during your probation period easily. There are no formalities except a two weeks notice or a Resignation Letter to quit your job in Germany.

      After your probation period, it is not easy to quit your job. You must give four weeks’ notice on the 15th or at the end of the month if you want to quit your job. Notice period varies when you are with an employer for a longer period. For example, the notice period is one month after two years of employment. If you have worked with your employer for five years, your notice period would be two months. After eight years of service in an organisation, the notice period extends to three months. It goes to the four months after ten years of employment and seven months after twenty years of employment. That is how it works.


      It is a normal scenario that can happen to any female across the Globe. If you are expecting, there is good news for you. Your employer can not fire you during your pregnancy. Another good thing is that your job will remain in your hand even after the birth of your baby. The duration is 4 months, and your employer can only fire you 4 months after your baby's birth. This applies to both cases if you have a probation period or a job.

      Getting a Loan

       As you are new to Germany and new to a job, you will need help to get a loan from financial institutions, brokers, and banks. As your job is insecure, banks will not approve your loan application. They only accept loan applications from those who have a stable job means a stable income source to return the loan amount.

      Find an Apartment

      If you are new to a job or on probation, landowners do not accept your application if you ask for a rented home or apartment. This is the only reason your job is insecure; your employer can fire you anytime. Landlords want those people to rent out their apartments and homes and have permanent jobs in their hands.

      Probation Period Extension

      It is very uncommon in Germany if an employer wants to extend the probation period of their employee. But, this is a great option for employers to extend the probation period of their newly hired employees and team members. 

      According to the law, companies, and organizations can share a notice with restrictions during the first six months of employment. Employers must extend the probation period after a mutual agreement with the employee. Employers can only extend the probation period for up to six months. If an employer extends the probation period without mutual agreement with the employee, they breach the contract and law.

      Reasons for Termination during the Probation Period

      It is not necessary by law to share a valid reason if you or your employer want to end the employment contract. You both can terminate the job without stating the reason during the probationary period. Even if you state the reason for not, it can be the same in most cases. Here are a few reasons why employers terminate employees during their probation period. Let’s dig out these below;

      • Lack of ability to perform the job
      • Lack of team integration
      • Dishonesty and breaking the rules of the organisation
      • Poor expertise
      • No ability to work on simultaneous projects
      • Poor job performance
      • Sharing confidential information with others
      • Being late from the office daily
      • No harmony in the corporate culture
      • Absenteeism
      • Violence and threats
      • Lack of productivity
      • Criminal behaviour

      Exceptions to Termination

      However, a notice is compulsory in a few cases, and employers cannot fire their employees in a few scenarios, as mentioned below;

      • Termination because of discrimination
      • Termination at inappropriate times
      • Terminating a pregnant women
      • Terminating a trainee
      • Terminating a severely disabled person

      If your employee is engaged in political or some trade union activity that you do not feel good about, you cannot terminate your employee based on your liking or feelings. You are also not allowed to terminate your employee based on gender, colour, creed, caste, nationality, sexual orientation, religion, and region.

      While it is about an inappropriate time, it can be when an employee goes through a serious phase of stress and depression. It can be the event of a death in the family. Termination is not allowed during such circumstances.

      As we mentioned earlier, no termination is possible during pregnancy or even after four months of giving birth to a baby. Similarly, termination is not possible if an employee is under training. You cannot also terminate an employee who is severely disabled.

      In all mentioned cases, an employer should carefully examine the decision for the employee’s professional career, so the probation period is compulsory.

      Tips to Have a Good Probationary Period

      As you know, probation is a test in which your employer will keenly see you, your behaviour, and your performance. The probation period can be challenging, but we will discuss some strategies to help you make the best out of your probation period. You are sure that you will be in your employment contract if you follow the tips during your probation period. Let’s look at the tips to have a great probation period ahead.

      Follow the Basic Rules

      The success party and enjoyment are over now, and it is time to get to the new job. You should follow the three basic rules when you join your new office.

      1. Be punctual and do not be late
      2. Follow the dress code of your organisation
      3. Be kind and polite to others at your new workplace

      Introduce Yourself and Celebrate New Job

      As you get a new job offer, it is your right to be happy. You should introduce yourself to your colleagues and share your happiness with them. Remember to thank you for the warm welcome and all the best wishes you receive on your first day. To celebrate your success, you should first know the corporate norms for breakfast, a coffee break, a celebration with a cake, setting a time with the boss, or having a drink during working hours.

      Memorize the Names of Your Seniors, Peers, and Subordinates

      Do you remember names easily? Great! Only some people have a good memory to memorize the names of their colleagues during the first few days of the new job. You will meet new people when you are on your job. It looks so nice if you remember the names of your colleagues. 

      If you need to improve at remembering names, you must make a personnel file to write the name, position, phone number, and other information. It will make it easy for you to find the right person when needed. These notes will be shorter as you will memorize all the details soon.

      Join Your Colleagues and Make Friends

      It is very important to make good friends at your workplace. Your friends will help you adjust to the new culture and share all about the company you need to know. Try not to say everything and mind your own business. Join your colleagues during lunch or tea break, and do not sit alone. Accept the rules, adapt to the company’s processes and manners, and show your affiliations to your colleagues and the new workplace.

      Do Not Gossip

      Do you own things and stay out of gossip and related discussions. When you are in communication with someone, do not stereotype. Let your opinions go away for the first few weeks. Gossips are in almost every organisation, so you must make cautious during your probation period. Rare gossips are based on truths, while many are just fictional, so do not participate in gossip.

      Make and Fulfil Commitment

      Accept all tasks assigned to you, focus on learning, make commitments, and fulfil them honestly. If you are hired in a managerial position, the employer will have greater demands and expectations from you. Show your interest in everything. In your free time, offer help to your colleagues rather than twiddling your thumbs.

      Market Yourself

      This is the fact that your boss knows nothing. Everything is good between your seniors and peers. That isn't good if your boss does not notice anything about you. If the case is so, you should market yourself. Show your performance actively, and market yourself to your boss if possible. 

      Prove your skills and abilities through your performance. Document the tasks and activities you performed every day. Keep a good record of your assignments and results to present them later. Whenever you get a chance, get an appointment, meet your boss, show your work, and share the results.

      Resolve Disputes

      As you are new to the organisation and other employees, so you are not a favourite person of everyone on your first day. With time, you will realise that a few of your colleagues are your friends while others have conflicts with you. Whenever you feel a dispute or a conflict, try to discuss openly and do not keep it in your heart or mind.

      Get Feedback for the Work You Have Done So Far

      As mentioned earlier, you should document whatever you do. Ask the boss or reporting authority for feedback on your assignment whenever possible. This will enable you to learn and understand the areas where you should improve. During your probation period, it is good to ask your manager for feedback after every two months.

      Agree If You Did Something Wrong

      To err is human, so if you have made any mistake, accept it. You can make minor and major mistakes. Think for a while that nobody is perfect. Learn and practice to polish yourself at your new workplace. Whatever you do, you must do it carefully to avoid mistakes. You should accept your mistakes without fear and doubt as if you deny them; your mistake can cause worse problems for your organisation. 

      Report if something wrong has happened due to your negligence or by mistake. Offer a solution if you have any; if you do not know how to resolve the matter, get professional help and seek advice from your seniors. You will make a good impression if you accept your mistake, learn from it, and avoid it next time.

      Give Suggestions and Recommend

      No matter how good your intuition is, making as few suggestions as possible is best. When you give too many suggestions, people think you are trying to compete with them. They start comparing their experience with yours, making it difficult for you to adjust. When you give many recommendations and suggestions, people might take a clear message that you are not there to learn and that you know everything. Have patience and knowledge about the processes. Try to learn even if you know something. Please share your ideas when you think it is a good time to share, but it is not recommended in the starting weeks of your probation period.

      Frequently Asked Questions

      Can we shorten the probation period?

      No, there is no way to shorten the probation period. Companies have a set rule for the duration of the probation period, either 3 or 6 months. The probation period can extend but cannot be shortened in any case.

      What if a working student gets sick during the probation period?

      You will not get any sickness benefits if you are a working student and get sick during your probation period. Unfortunately, your employer will also not give you any salary for your sick days if you are in the probation period of the first four weeks.

      Is there any employment contract without a probation period?

      The probation period is not compulsory by law in Germany. However, both contracting parties can mutually decide about it. There can be no probation period in the employment contract.

      Is a probation period compulsory if someone is hired for vocational training?

      Exceptions are always there, so a probation period is necessary if it is vocational training. According to section 20 of the Vocational Training Act (BBiG), vocational training relationships start with the trial period.

      What is the length of the probation period in the case of vocational training?

      Well, the length of the probation period is different in the case of vocational training than that of other contracts. For vocational training, the probation period is at least one month. The maximum duration of the probation period during vocational training is four months.

      Should you be agreed verbally on the probation period (without a written contract or agreement)?

      It is possible, and you can agree to a probationary period without an employment agreement. It is optional to have an agreement in written form. But, it is difficult to verify when any dispute arises. In that case, only witnesses can confirm the information during the verbal agreement; otherwise, it would be problematic and tough.

      Can a woman work if she gets pregnant during the probation period?

      A pregnant woman has no notice period, as the employer cannot fire her. If it happens, the termination will not be considered valid. According to the Maternity Protection Act, pregnant working ladies are not allowed to work six weeks before and eight weeks after the birth of their baby.

      Should you have a medical certificate to inform your company's HR about your pregnancy?

      Yes, of course! You must inform the HR of your company immediately if you get pregnant. This is good to protect both mother and the child as some activities are not allowed, and the employer cannot ask you to perform those activities.

      Final Thoughts

      As an employee, your employer is new to you and your workplace too. You and your employer can check if you suit each other during probation. The employer and employee can also check the employment relationship. Your employer can fire you without any reason, and you can quit your job too. But after probation, you can quit your job easily, and your employer can fire you. After the probation period, statutory protection automatically applies from the time when the probation period ends. Both you and your employer need a four weeks notice period. So, you will find great relief when you successfully leave your probation period. Have a great time during your probation period, and all the best at your new workplace. Cheers!

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