What are probation periods in Germany?

In Germany, a probationary period ('Probezeit') is a common feature of most employment contracts. During this period, both the employer and the employee have the opportunity to evaluate whether the job is a good fit. 

Here are some key points to understand about probation periods in Germany:

  1. Duration: The duration of a probationary period can vary, but it is typically limited to a maximum of six months. In some cases, it may be shorter, depending on the employment contract and industry norms. For mid-senior positions, a probation period of 3 months would be more common. 

  2. Purpose: The primary purpose of the probation period is to assess the employee's performance and adaptability to the job. It gives both the employer and the employee a trial period to determine whether they want to continue the employment relationship.

  3. Termination: During the probation period, the employment relationship can be terminated with relatively short notice by either party. This means that either the employer or the employee can terminate the contract with a shorter notice period compared to what would apply after the probation period ends. The exact notice period is stipulated in the employment contract but is typically two weeks for both parties during the probation period.

  4. Employment Protection: While on probation, employees in Germany still have some legal protections, such as protection against discrimination, harassment, and unfair treatment. They can also claim benefits like health insurance and paid leave.

  5. Termination Notice: After the probation period, the termination notice period becomes more protective of the employee. The exact notice period is determined by the employment agreement and it becomes longer than during the probation period. The notice period can range from one to several months, depending on various factors.

  6. Horizons Tip: Trial Period Evaluation: It's common for employers to conduct performance reviews or evaluations during the probation period to provide feedback to the employee. This helps determine if the employee meets the required standards and if the employment relationship should continue beyond the probationary period.

We hope you found this article to be helpful. Please reach out to support@joinhorizons.com if you require further information about probation periods in Germany.

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