What constitutes as working hours during a business trip? - Germany

In alignment with German labor laws and a commitment to fair labor practices, the following guidelines have been established to manage working hours for employees during national and international business trips. These policies are designed to clarify what constitutes working hours and how employees are compensated during business-related travel.

Travel Time

  • During Regular Working Hours: Travel that coincides with an employee's regular working hours counts as working hours.
  • Outside of Regular Hours: For travel outside of regular working hours, several factors are considered:
    • If employees are actively engaged in work-related tasks (e.g., preparing presentations, responding to emails), this time is considered working hours.
    • Passive travel, where employees can rest and are not expected to perform any work, generally does not count as working hours unless otherwise stipulated by specific employment agreements or collective bargaining agreements.

Work-Related Activities

  • Active Engagement: All time spent on job-related activities during the trip, such as attending meetings, workshops, and business events, is counted as working hours.
  • Mandatory Participation: Attendance at compulsory events such as dinners or networking functions, if required and directly linked to the business objectives of the trip, is also included as working hours.

Rest Periods

  • Compliance with Rest Periods: Employees must observe the mandatory rest periods as per German labor laws, which stipulate at least 11 consecutive hours of rest in every 24-hour period. Travel and work schedules should accommodate these rest periods, and adjustments or compensations should be provided if adherence is not feasible due to travel schedules.


  • Policy Clarity: These guidelines adhere to German labor laws to ensure fair and legal practices by both the company and its employees.
  • Communication: It is crucial that employees and their supervisors discuss and agree upon the schedule and definition of working hours prior to any business trip. Such agreements should be formally documented to avoid disputes or misunderstandings.
  • Documentation and Compensation: The company commits to accurately documenting all working hours during business trips and compensating employees accordingly, whether through appropriate wages or compensatory rest time.

It's advised that employees consult the employer before the business trip should any questions remain unclear.

Was this article helpful?

That’s Great!

Thank you for your feedback

Sorry! We couldn't be helpful

Thank you for your feedback

Let us know how can we improve this article!

Select atleast one of the reasons
CAPTCHA verification is required.

Feedback sent

We appreciate your effort and will try to fix the article