A Guide to Vacation Entitlements and Leave Encashment in Germany

If your company is hiring employees in Germany, you will find a very structured approach to vacation or leave entitlements. This includes the amount of leave time that must be offered, and what happens if an employee does not take the statutory leave entitlements each year.

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If your company is hiring employees in Germany, you will find a very structured approach to vacation or leave entitlements.  This includes the amount of leave time that must be offered, and what happens if an employee does not take the statutory leave entitlements each year.

Like most European countries, leave is generous in Germany compared to a country like the US.  Your employees will expect you to know and offer the type of leave they are accustomed to, so here are the basics to get you started.

How much vacation time are employees entitled to in Germany?

The statutory leave entitlement is four weeks per year (20 office days), plus 9-12 public holidays depending on the state.  German employers often give as much as 25-30 office days per year.  There is full compensation during the vacation leave, and a holiday bonus is frequently offered.

Is there a probation period before employees receive full vacation entitlements?

The full year’s vacation entitlement starts after six months on the job, and any termination prior to that (or within the first six months of a calendar year) would result in an entitlement of 1/12 of the leave period, multiplied by the number of months worked...read more

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Tim Burgess

Director, Shield GEO Services Ltd

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