When you are working full-time in Germany, this usually means you are working 40 hours a week. It is also common to work part-time – the weekly working time then varies between 20 and 30 hours.
There are legal limitations to your working hours in Germany. You are only allowed to work an average of 48 hours a week. You usually work Monday to Friday; some jobs, however, require working on Saturdays and Sundays, as well. Night- and shift work are especially common in the industries of gastronomy, healthcare and manufacturing.
If employees work five days a week, they are legally entitled to a anual minimum of 20 paid days off from work. In most sectors of the economy, full-time workers are entitled to at least 28 days of vacation. There are different rules applying to youths, their leave entitlement is higher.
In case of sickness, your employer must continue to pay your wage for six weeks. If you are ill for an extended period, your German health insurance will pay your sickness benefit, which amounts to 70% of your gross salary. Different rules may apply if you have private health insurance.
Instantly let your employer know that you are sick. However, you do not need to inform him about the illness you have. Usually, you must hand in a medical certificate by no later than the fourth day of your sick leave. Your employer may ask for it even sooner. Check your employment contract or ask your employer for instructions on how to deal with sickness during working days.
Protection against unfair dismissal
In Germany, the Protection against Unfair Dismissal Actapplies to all companies that employ more than ten people. This law regulates who under which circumstances may be dismissed from their jobs. For example, severely disabled people or pregnant women enjoy special employment protection. It is stated in their employment agreement which notice period applies to them.