Hire employees and contractors in Germany

Remote’s guide to employing in Germany.

  • Capital city

    Berlin

  • Currency

    Euro
    (, EUR)

  • Population size

    83,149,300
    (2019 est.)

  • Languages spoken

    German

  • Availability

    Remote-Owned Local Entity

    We own our own entity in the countries where we operate to shield your company from risk and provide you and your employees with the signature Remote experience.

Facts & Stats

Germany (German: Deutschland), officially the Federal Republic of Germany (German: Bundesrepublik Deutschland), is a country in Central and Western Europe. Germany is a great power with a strong economy; it has the largest economy in Europe, the world's fourth-largest economy by nominal GDP, and the fifth-largest by PPP. As a global leader in several industrial and technological sectors, it is both the world's third-largest exporter and importer of goods.

  • Capital city

    Berlin

  • Currency

    Euro
    (, EUR)

  • Languages spoken

    German

  • Population size

    83,149,300 (2019 est.)

  • Ease of doing business

    Very easy

  • Cost of living index

    $$$$ (32 of 139 nations)

  • Payroll frequency

    Monthly

  • VAT - standard rate

    19%

  • GDP - real growth rate

    1.425% (2018 est.)

Grow your team in Germany with Remote

Employing in Germany requires employers to own a legal entity in the country and manage payroll, tax, benefits and compliance through their own in-country resources. The complexity of employment regulations in Germany makes full compliance with employment laws a burdensome process.

Through Remote’s Global Employer of Record solution, your team is employed by our local legal entities in each country, and we take care of payroll, tax, benefits and compliance so you can focus on what matters most -- your people.

Risks
of misclassification

Germany, like many other countries, treats self-employed individuals or contractors and full-time workers differently and there are risks associated with misclassification.

Employing in Germany

Employment law in Germany is not contained under a single law. Instead it is governed by statutory regulations codified in (among other laws) the German Civil Code, then furthermore governed by various federal acts such as the Part-time and Fixed-term Work Act, Employee Leasing Act, Holidays Act, Act on Maternity Protection and the Dismissal Protection Act. Furthermore, collective labour law through codetermination, trade unions and collective bargaining plays a role.

German employment law provides strong labor conditions and protections for employees, so employing people will generally be an important investment and commitment.

Temporary agencies are popular options for more flexible workforce arrangements. For these and many other reasons, the following are only guidelines in the broadest sense, and professional legal services are recommended when employing in Germany.

Minimum Wage

The minimum hourly wage stipulate by law for 2020 is €9.35. A higher minimum is often set by collective bargaining agreements, which are enforceable by law.

Payroll Cycle

For customers of Remote, all employee payments will be made in equal monthly installments on or before the last working day of each calendar month, payable in arrears.

Onboarding Time

We can help you get a new employee started in Germany fast. The minimum onboarding time we need is only 8 working days.

Our team ensures your employees are onboarded and paid as quickly as possible while keeping your business compliant with all local employment legislation. The minimum onboarding time begins after the employee submits all required information onto the Remote platform. The onboarding timeline is also dependent upon registration with local authorities.

For all non-nationals of the country of employment, the Right to Work assessment (if applicable) will add three extra days to the total time to onboard. There may be extra time required if we need to follow-up on the right to work assessment.

Please note, payroll cut-off dates can impact the actual first day of employment. Remote has a payroll cut-off date of the 10th of the month unless otherwise specified.

Competitive benefits package in Germany

Besides providing your employees with all statutory benefits in Germany, Remote can advise on and arrange for custom benefits and perks for your employees upon request.

  • Medical insurance plan
  • Dental insurance plan
  • Vision insurance plan
  • Additional paid holidays
  • Flexible work schedule
  • Pension scheme
  • Life insurance
  • Other insurance

Taxes in Germany

Learn how employment taxes and statutory fees affect your payroll and your employees’ paychecks in Germany.

  • Employer

    • 9.30% - Pension

    • 7.95% - Health Insurance

    • 1.525% - Nursing Care Insurance

    • 1.25% - Unemployment Insurance

    • 1.18% - Accident Insurance

    • 2.75% - Sickness/maternity leave allocation

  • Employee

    • 9.30% - Pension

    • 7.30% - Health Insurance

    • 1.525% - Nursing Care Insurance

    • 1.25% - Unemployment Insurance

    • 0.00% - Income tax up to 9,000 Euro per annum

    • 14.00% - Income tax for 9,000 - 55,961 Euro per annum

    • 42.00% - Income tax for 55,961 - 265,327 Euro per annum

    • 45.00% - Income tax for over 265,327 Euro per annum

Types of leave

Statutory leave

All full-time workers are entitled to 10 paid public holidays per years. Full-time workers are also entitled to at least 20 days of paid time off if they work five-day work weeks or 24 days of paid time off if they work six-day work weeks. Employers may offer additional paid vacation days at their discretion.

Pregnancy and maternity leave

Expecting mothers are entitled to 6 weeks of pregnancy leave (before the due date) and at least 8 weeks maternity leave (after childbirth).

Parental leave

In addition to maternity leave, the parents can take extended parental leave for up to 36 months until the child turn 3 years. Parents can choose to work part-time or up to 30 hours per week during parental leave.

Other leave

  • Adoption: the same rules as for maternity leave applies for adoptions.

Employment termination

Termination process

Germany employers in general can provide any fair reasons for termination of an employee. Any dismissal from the end of the employer for an employee that has been employed longer than six months has to be "socially justified" by the following:

  • Person-related reasons, such as long-term illness;
  • Termination with consent of the employee through a termination agreement;
  • Conduct-related reasons, for example repeated breaches of employment terms after prior warning or serious misconduct; or
  • Operational reasons, for example the shutdown of the company or economic downturns.

Notice period

The statutory notice period for an employer depends on the duration of employment, with a minimum of four weeks for those employed less than 9 months and up to 7 months for those employed more than 20 years.

Probation periods

The maximum length of a probationary period is 6 months. The minimum statutory notice period during the beginning of a new employment relationship is 2 weeks.

During the probationary period, the applicable statutory notice period can be reduced to a minimum of two weeks, except as otherwise provided in other applicable regulations (e.g. a collective bargaining agreement). During the probationary period, the employer does not need a reason for termination to dismiss the employee. A termination during the probationary period is only ineffective if it is immoral or contrary to faith.

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