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[Translate to English:] Deutschland: Neues zum befristeten Arbeitsvertrag

Labor law

[Translate to English:] Deutschland: Neues zum befristeten Arbeitsvertrag

According to the version of Section 15(3) of the Part-Time and Fixed-term Employment Act (Teilzeit- und Befristungsgesetz, TzBfG) that came into force on 1 August 2022, an agreed probationary period must be "in proportion" to the duration of the fixed-term employment relationship and the nature of the work.

Unfortunately, neither the law nor the explanatory memorandum contain specifications or benchmarks in this regard. Corresponding points of reference will still have to be defined by case law. In any case, it can already be stated that the blanket exhaustion of the full possible six months for fixed-term contracts will be disproportionate and therefore ineffective. There is therefore a need for action here as well, since an ineffective probationary period leads directly to a longer notice period.

A "proportionate" probationary period according to the duration of the fixed term should, according to a preliminary assessment, be approx. 1/4 to 1/3 of the agreed term, resulting in the following graduation:

Duration of the time limit          Length of the probationary period (with 1/3 approach)

3 months                                     1 month

6 months                                     2 months

9 months                                     3 months

12 months (and more)              4 months

For fixed-term contracts of 12 months or more, it is recommended that the length of the probationary period be kept at four months, as 6 months is generally only possible for open-ended contracts.