A termination during the probationary period does not have to be a drama – after all, this period is deliberately a test phase for both sides.
Nevertheless, employees in particular fear the insecurity of the first few months with their new employer. Find out what is allowed and what is not here.
- Notice period during the probationary period: At least two weeks
- Protection against dismissal during and after the probationary period: observe deadlines
- Reasons for termination during the probationary period: Information provided voluntarily
- Special protection during the probationary period: No discrimination
- Vacation during the probationary period: entitlement in the event of termination
Notice period during the probationary period: At least two weeks
The most important numbers on the subject of termination during the probationary period at a glance:
- The trial period can last a maximum of six months.
- The notice period during the probationary period is at least two weeks – if it is an ordinary notice and not a notice without notice.
- The information is not tied to the 15th of a month or the end of the month. A termination takes effect exactly two weeks after it has been issued.
The basis for these rules is Section 622 of the German Civil Code (BGB). Deviations are possible in the following cases:
- Collective agreements can contain shorter or longer periods.
- In the case of individual contracts, the deadlines may generally only be changed in favor of the employee – i.e. shorter probationary period and longer notice period if necessary.
- Contracts for employment relationships that are scheduled to last less than three months may stipulate shorter periods.
TIP: If the employer and employee want to separate by mutual agreement, a termination agreement can be an alternative to circumvent the notice periods.
Protection against dismissal during and after the probationary period: observe deadlines
The general protection against dismissal according to the Employment Protection Act (KSchG) only exists after six months of service . Most employers make full use of the legally permitted six-month probationary period, so that employees are often automatically protected against dismissal from the end of the probationary period. However, there is no legal connection between these two things.
An example shows what this means: an ordinary notice period of four weeks has been agreed in your employment contract. Your trial period lasts three months and has a two-week notice period.
- In the first three months, you can terminate or be terminated your employment contract within two weeks.
- In the fourth, fifth and sixth months, you would have to leave four weeks after the notice was given.
- From the seventh month onwards, the employer must show good reasons for the termination in order to justify it socially.
However, if the termination is to be given without notice , weighty reasons are also necessary during the probationary period . In addition, it must take place no later than two weeks after becoming aware of the reason for the termination.
Reasons for termination during the probationary period: Information provided voluntarily
Ordinary termination during the probationary period can be made without giving reasons – this applies to both employer and employee. However, appreciative feedback on the motivation usually makes sense for both sides. Did the fields of activity differ significantly from the job advertisement? Did it not fit in human terms? Or were you often sick? Because yes, a termination due to illness is also possible during the probationary period.
On the other hand, both parties can only terminate the contract without notice if they give important reasons (Section 262 of the German Civil Code). This can be, for example:
- sexual harassment
- serious breach of trust
If the employer is terminating the contract without notice, you must usually receive a warning beforehand .
Special protection during the probationary period: No discrimination
Some groups of people enjoy special protection against dismissal even during their probationary period . These include, for example, pregnant women and the severely disabled . In addition, the reasons for dismissal must not be discriminatory even during the probationary period – religion, sexual identity or ethnic origin are therefore not a legitimate reason for dismissal even in the first few months.
Also Data Protection Supervisor and trade unionists enjoy special protection against dismissal from day one. The reason: They can become uncomfortable for the company if they do their job diligently. That is why they need this security in order to be able to work independently.
▶ Termination at so-called “untimely” times is also not permitted, that is, if you as an employee are under extreme stress – for example due to a death in the family.
Vacation during the probationary period: entitlement in the event of termination
You are also entitled to vacation during the probationary period. Regardless of whether you quit yourself or have been terminated by your employer: You are entitled to pro rata annual leave. If you can no longer take it before leaving the company, it must be paid out.