Types of Job Contracts in Germany

Understand the various types of job contract that apply in Germany...

Many people, including the majority of blue-collar workers, white-collar workers and civil servants, will be given a fixed-term full-time employment contract.

An increasing number of people work part-time (Teilzeitarbeit). In addition to "regular" part-time work, which is subject to social security insurance, there are also so-called "mini jobs", in which the employee may earn up to €450 per month. Many people employed as cleaners, health workers, catering staff and those in the retail trade have these "mini jobs".

Temporary contracts

In recent years the temporary sector has been growing rapidly. There are specialist agencies dealing with staff working on a fixed full-time or part-time basis.

Youth employment

In Germany, the minimum age for regular employment in a business is 15. Child labour is banned under the Child Protection Law (Jugendarbeitsschutzgesetz). Children under 18 but still in full-time education are also subject to restrictions in terms of the number of hours they may work.

Anyone aged 15 and above and no longer in full-time education may be employed for up to eight hours a day (40 hours per week) in an appropriate role. This means that they must not be overstretched physically or asked to perform tasks which are inappropriate given their age and experience.

  • The Ministry of Justice provides more information on youth employment (in German)

Trainees may work in a business under a vocational training contract, which is not employment in the conventional sense.

The Self Employed

EU citizens are permitted to work in a self-employed role in Germany. It is only necessary to inform the registry office (Einwohnermeldamt). A non-EU citizen may start a business in Germany under certain conditions, and must first apply for a residency permit from the Office for Foreigners.