Employees in Germany
Working Hours & Days
The defined working week is Monday to Saturday, whilst the standard working week in Germany for most industries is from Monday to Friday.
How many hours is full time in Germany?
A standard full-time employment contract will mean working for 36 to 40 hours a week on average.
What are the working hours in Germany?
Typical office hours are 9-5 Monday-Thursday and 9-4 Monday-Friday. According to the German labor law, working hours cannot exceed eight hours in one day or 48 hours in one week.
Flexible working hours and working from home are becoming increasingly popular, especially for those with young children. Under the German law, employers are not required to offer this, but many will be prepared to come to an agreement.
Also on the increase in Germany is the concept of Trusted Working Time, a flexible model of employment in which working hours are not monitored by managers. Instead, employees are trusted to work their hours as flexibly as the office allows.
Are lunch breaks paid in Germany?
A lunch break of at least 30 minutes is both mandatory and unpaid in Germany.
Salary & Taxes
The average German salary is €3,770 per month (around €45,000 per year) for a full-time, permanent role. The salary for a job paid at minimum wage, on a full-time basis is €1,500 per month. Doctors, lawyers, CEOs and engineers are amongst the country's highest earners.
German employees are taxed at source and pay income tax on all earnings over €9,169 per year. Income tax starts at 14%, rising to 45% for the very highest earners.
Those who are employed and those who are self-employed need to submit a yearly tax report called a Steuererklärung.
Find out more about the German Tax System on our page.
Holidays and Vacation Time
In Germany, full employment also comes with an annual leave entitlement, some of the highest in the world in fact. On average workers are granted 30 days of annual leave per year, with a legal minimum of 24. This is a paid vacation leave, which does not affect monthly salaries.
Germany also has ten public holidays each year which workers enjoy in addition to their annual leave entitlement. This includes national holidays and religious celebrations.
You can find out more about festivities and public holidays on our German Holidays and Celebrations page.
How much vacation do German workers get?
German workers have an entitlement of annual leave of at least 24 days a year, with an average of 30.
How productive is Germany?
Despite the large amount of annual leave entitlement as well as the shorter working week and trusted work time, Germany continues to be one of the most productive countries in the world. The overall German employment rate is high. The unemployment trend in Germany continues to go downwards and is currently just over 3%, one of the lowest in the world.
Sickness & Work
If you are too sick, either physically or mentally, to attend work, you should let your employer know at the earliest convenience. Workers are protected under the German law to be paid in full for up to six weeks, usually only once within a one-year period.
In Germany, those that suffer from long-term sickness that lasts over six weeks can apply for statutory sickness payment, which is paid at 70% of your normal salary, up to a maximum of 78 weeks. This sickness benefit is covered by the health insurance, and should apply whether you have a private or public health insurance provider.
How many sick days do you get in Germany?
German workers receive full pay for up to six weeks. Workers are paid a statutory sickness payment for a further 78 weeks of 70% of their salary.
Other Benefits for Employees
Women must take the Maternity Leave from six weeks before their baby is due until eight weeks after it is born. During this time, the employer needs to pay the employee in full. Both mothers and fathers are able to take the Parental Leave of up to three years. Employers do not need to pay workers during this time.
Parents are entitled to parental work benefits from the state that usually account to 67% of their normal salary. Employees' rights in Germany such as the Parental Leave are protected by law.
What are the benefits German workers get?
German workers are entitled to Maternity Leave and Parental Leave. German workers are also free to work without discrimination, a right which is protected by law.