Labour rights

What are my rights as an employee?

Labour law in Germany is very complicated as there are numerous regulations in several bodies of law regarding the subject. However, it is crucial to know your rights and obligations as an employee. You can only demand your rights if you are aware of them.

What do I need to know?

Do I have to be available for my superiors after work?

What do I do if I am sick and unable to work?

Who covers the costs if I am injured in a work accident?

Can I have another job beside my primary employment?

Can I switch from full-time work to part-time?

What is a warning letter ("Abmahnung")?

Am I entitled to an employers' reference ("Arbeitszeugnis")?

Can I surf the Internet during my working hours?

Do I have to pay for my work clothes?

What happens if I work illegally ("Schwarzarbeit")?

What rights do I have as a pregnant woman at work?

How can I spend more time with my children despite work?

I get bullied at work - what can I do?

Where can I find help and support?


If you have problems with your colleagues, speak to your boss. If you have issues with your boss, seek help from your Work's Council or a counselling centre. You can find a counselling centre nearby at