Also, in this guide we will make sure to provide you with handful of knowledge that is necessary in order to write and submit a resignation letter and make it legal. This guide will also provide you with some samples and you can draft and edit these for your convenience. As per the German law it is obligatory to submit a resignation letter so this is important in case you have decided to proceed further with resignation.
🔶 Related Topic: Unemployment Benefits in Germany + Bonus Info
- 1 How To Write a Formal German Resignation Letter
- 2 Tips to Write a Perfect German Resignation Letter
- 3 Structuring the Right German Resignation Letter
- 4 What not to include in the Resignation Letter
- 5 How to Avoid Dispute with your Employer?
- 6 Deadlines for submitting your resignation letter in Germany
- 7 Submission of the Resignation letter
- 8 Some more advice
- 9 Download Resignation Letter Template
- 10 Success!
How To Write a Formal German Resignation Letter
In Germany, you may experience strict rules once employed. It’s not easy to quit a job anywhere and can also be unpleasant at times.
In order to quit a job at a German company it is necessary to have a resignation letter, and in case you don’t have it, your termination might not be considered as valid.
In Germany, verbal communication regarding termination isn’t considered legal or valid. The resignation must be printed on a paper in written form and should also have signatures.
On the other hand, it is not so necessary that the resignation letter should include the reason behind the resignation. But, for a resignation without a notice you may require that also. To be on the safe side you should ask for the confirmation but it is not necessary for the employer to acknowledge the resignation.
As for the language of the resignation letter, it should be in the language which is mostly used at work and for communication within the company. A generic rule for the resignation letter is: it is better to be precise and short while writing a resignation, and there is no need to increase the length in order to provide explanation for the reason of leaving.
So, it is better if you stick to the matter and be precise about the resignation. Be direct, professional, and make sure to add up all the ingredients that are necessary for a perfect resignation letter.
🔶 Download: Resignation Letter Template [ English & German ]
Tips to Write a Perfect German Resignation Letter
Using right mode of communication
According to the German law, a termination letter which is writer on a paper is the only form which is legal and is accepted. Using digital means (WhatsApp, email or SMS) for this purpose are not acceptable. So, it is necessary that you must take a print of your resignation letter and sign it before you hand it over to the employer.
“Kundigung” referred to as “termination” is one of the most important sections of the employment contract, and you must read it to know the notice period. In order to write a correct resignation letter, you will have to go through the notice period section in detail.
When your employer receives your termination letter, after that your notice period starts to count. In order to end on the good term, it is always better to hand over resignation letter in person to the employer when you get the opportunity to do so.
If that is not the case, then the resignation should be sent through post. It is always a better option if you leave on the good terms with your employer. Also, before posting a resignation letter, it is better to schedule a meeting or call with your supervisor.
In order to be sure when your employer has received the resignation letter you have sent, it is better to send the letter with tracking to know the date when your employer has received the letter.
Writing the letter in German
Although it is important that what language you use while working and even if you are working in English speaking environment, it is better to write your resignation in German. In most of the cases the company provides the employment contract in both English and German but it is important to know that in case of contradiction, the German version has exclusive authority over the English version.
So, in order to be on a safe side, it is always better to write your resignation letter in German language.
Addressing the right person
Mostly, the resignation letter has to be addressed to the boss you are working under. But sometimes it is required by the employer that a copy of your resignation has to be submitted to the HR department as well. In that scenario, it is better to find out that to whom you should address from HR in your letter.
In case you need to submit the letter to both departments, create another copy of your resignation letter which addresses your boss and the designated person from HR department and hand over the right copies to the right person.
Proofread before writing your German resignation letter
Make sure to go through the resignation letter twice or thrice in order to proofread it thoroughly. In case of any mistakes or typos in the sender or receiver’s information, your resignation letter can be ruled out as invalid. So, checking all the spelling and proofreading is very important.
Structuring the Right German Resignation Letter
Setting the margins right
Writing the resignation letter in Germany with the standard margins is also important. Standard German Letter paper format follows margins of DIN A4.
- Top margin: 4.5 cm
- Bottom margin: 2.5 cm
- Right margin: 2.0 cm
- Left margin: 2.5 cm
Please take a note that following these standards will always add better value to the resignation letter and in case you are not following these standards your resignation will not be considered as invalid.
Information of the Company
Information about the company has to be left-aligned and the information of the recipient will be visible from within envelop, if you are using a window envelop.
- Name of the company
- Contact person in the company
- Company’s address
- Company’s postal code, City
The option to provide the personal information in a resignation letter in Germany on left or right depends upon you and both will be valid. Personal details include:
- Your name
- Address: it is important to provide a valid mail address and where you can always access the mailbox. There’s always a chance of receiving mails or any documents that you have requested previously to the ex-employer. Also, if you are about to move out or do not have a permanent address, you can provide address of a friend of someone you know and can always reach out, and get the documents later from them
- Postal code, City
- Phone number: it is always a better option to provide your personal phone number and not your work number. Your ex-employer or supervisor may need to contact you for follow up or something related to your resignation and it’ll be easy for them to reach you out on your personal contact number
- Your Email: likewise, your phone number, it is better to provide your personal email address in order to get in touch easily.
Subject line of the resignation letter
It is always better to be on the point and clear about what you are writing. The subject line must include the word “termination” and it will clear out the context of the letter. Also, it is optional for you to add your employment ID and end date as well. To add the end date, make sure you rightly calculate your notice period according to the employment contract. For Example:
German: Kundigung meines Arbeitsvertrages zum DD.MM.YYYY
English: Termination of my work contract on DD.MM.YYYY
It is important to add the date also, on which you are writing the resignation letter. Also, it should be aligned on the right side.
Add a salutation
As this is a formal letter, so it is important to add a formal greeting to it as well. For male you should use: “Sehr geehrter Herr” and for females you should use: “Sehr geehrte Frau”.
Paragraph about Job Resignation
Germans prefer to be direct, so there is no need to roam around and state the matter in a direct manner. First paragraph of the termination letter is very important and it is important to mention your last working day regardless of vacation days that are pending.
So, it is better to calculate the last day as per the notice period stated in your employment contract and later communicate with the supervisor about the pending vacation days. A statement such as the following is important and should be included:
German: “Hiermit kündige ich meinen Arbeitsvertrag ordentlich und rechtzeitig zum DD.MM.YYYY”
Englsih: “I hereby terminate my employment contract in a proper and timely manner as of DD.MM.YYYY”
The need to provide the reason of resignation is always optional. You can always skip providing a reason as in German law it is not mandatory to provide a reason when providing a resignation letter in Germany.
Ask for the employment certificate (Arbeitszeugniss)
It is very important to request for this certificate whenever you leave a job in Germany. Employees have every right to get this certificate along with the reference from employer. So, make a request for employment certificate in the resignation letter as well.
This certificate plays and important role in order to get new jobs as well. Arbeitszeugniss provides a proof of working in the company at stated position and is also an employer’s reference or assessment of the employee’s work within the company.
Requesting the Acknowledgement of Receipt
Although it is not obligatory for an employer to provide confirmation of the reception of termination of contract but you can always make a request to the employer to do so. Also, if you have sent your resignation letter through post with acknowledgement of receipt, you can use that as a proof as well. Employer can also give you confirmation through
- By providing an official letter to you
- Signing a copy of letter with date when it was received
Make a request for Work reference
It is mandatory obligation for an employer to provide work reference to the employee once the employment contract has ended. But it is always better to request this in your termination letter as well.
Work reference letter is one of the most important documents and mostly employers will send a clean letter without any staple pins by post and this might take a few weeks to deliver.
There is also one other certificate which is optional to request but sometimes it is also required by the new employers. Holiday Certificate “Urlaubsbescheinigung” has the information about how many vacation days you have consumed in current calendar year. This might be of use for a new employer in order to calculate your vacation days and to avoid double vacation time.
Thanking the employer (optional)
In the end, if you wish you can add a small paragraph to appreciate and thank the employer for the opportunity and time, they have given you to work in their team. This will surely add value to the resignation letter and will create a positive impact overall.
Closing with your name and Signature
In a formal document it is better to close with an official German closing. For example:
German: Freundliche Grüße
English: Kind regards,
Ideally it is better to print your name and sign the document by hand with a pen. It is better to print the material in black ink and the signature should be done with a blue ink pen.
🔶 Download: Resignation Letter Template [ English & German ]
What not to include in the Resignation Letter
In order to write a perfect resignation letter in Germany, it is always important to include the essential items and also it is important to avoid certain things. The following should not be included:
- An explanation about the reason for leaving
- Details of the future plans you have
- Avoid talking about the cons of working in the company and about what your coworkers do in the company
- Do not submit the letter without proofreading as there can be spelling errors
- Do not write a lengthy resignation letter and letter should be a one pager.
How to Avoid Dispute with your Employer?
It is always a better option to not get involved in a dispute with the employer. Although legal insurance can benefit every employee in Germany if they are in a dispute with a lawyer or disputes related to the employment law. With a nominal price starting from €17 per month, you can avoid paying huge amounts to the lawyers if you are in a dispute at work through legal insurance. Legal insurance can always turn out to be helpful if you are having to issue termination of your job contract.
Deadlines for submitting your resignation letter in Germany
In order to quit a job in Germany the notice for quitting a job must be given on the 15th or at the end of the month.
For example: If the notice period ends at the 30th of September, employer should receive resignation letter 28 days before that i.e., September 2. If you are quitting the job in a month which has 31 days then the letter must reach the employer by 3rd day of that month.
Submission of the Resignation letter
In order to submit the resignation letter, it can be done in person or also can be sent via post as well. Make sure to send it as soon as possible as it will be only counted from the date your employer receives it if you are sending through mail.
Also, you can take two prints of the resignation letter as well. First one needs to be submitted to the supervisor or employer. The second print which is always optional can be for yourself. You can get it signed by the employer and keep it with you to be on the safe side.
It is important to send it on time because if the official deadline has been passed, you might get to continue work for another month. So, take this into consideration as well.
🔶 Download: Resignation Letter Template [ English & German ]
Some more advice
Once you are done with the submission of your resignation letter, it is better to continue with the same pace as you were working previously. Skipping work or take sick leaves regularly will not leave a positive impact on the employer. Also, it is very important that you leave the job on good terms with your employer. Because, you never know if your new employer may reach out to an ex-employer to discuss recommendation. So, ending your employment relationship with your employer on a good note is very important. Also, if you have been in a good relationship with your employer, there might be a chance they can recommend you to a suitable position somewhere else as well. We wish you good luck with your future employment. Have a great day ahead.