Payroll and Benefits Guide

Good to know

In Germany, having health insurance is mandatory and can be obtained through either a public or private health care system.


Euro (EUR)



Employee Costs


Local Language


Employer Taxes


Public Holidays

9 days

Payroll Frequency


Tax Year

1st Jan – 31st Dec

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Germany has a highly skilled and educated workforce, known for its technical expertise, engineering capabilities, and strong work ethic. Hiring in Germany means access to a talent pool with a wide range of skills. The country is also one of the largest economies in the world and is known for its economic stability. This makes it an attractive location for businesses looking to establish a presence in Europe.

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Minimum Wage

The national minimum wage in Germany Is 12.00 EUR per hour.

Working Hours

Standard Working Hours

Employees work a maximum of 40 hours a week for 8 hours a day. It is essential to have at least 11 hours of resting time between two working days. The working week is between Monday – Saturday.


Any work performed beyond the regular working hours is considered overtime. Overtime must be compensated either through paid time off or additional pay, in which is most cases is compensated with additional pay. This is usually higher than regular pay.

The specific overtime compensation rate should be specified in the employment contract or collective bargaining agreement. The total amount of overtime an employee can work is limited to 48 hours per month or 10 hours per week, on average, over a period of 6 months.


The payroll in Germany is processed monthly, and employees are usually paid around the 25th of each month. It is customary in Germany to provide a 13th-month salary payment, which is typically provided with the December pay.


Paid time off

Employees in Germany are entitled to a minimum of 20 working days of annual leave if they work a regular 5-day week, and 24 working days if they work a regular 6-day week. Starting in 2023, employees will have the option to carry over their unused holidays for up to 3 years.

Sick Pay

Employees are eligible to receive sick pay up to 100% of their salary for a duration of 6 weeks. If the sick leave extends beyond 6 weeks, the employee will receive a sickness allowance from the national health insurer, equivalent to 70% of their salary. This is usually for a period of up to 78 weeks.

Maternity Leave

Under the Maternity Protection Act in Germany, a pregnant employee is entitled to 14 weeks of paid maternity leave. However, in cases of complicated or multiple births, the maternity leave can extend to 18 weeks.

Maternity leave is divided into two periods which is Prenatal leave, during which the employee is required to take a minimum of 6 weeks before the expected due date, and Postnatal leave, where the remaining 8 weeks are taken starting from the date of the child’s birth. The maternity payment is provided by the public health insurance fund.

Paternity Leave

Germany does not have statutory paternity leave for fathers. However, fathers are entitled to parental leave, which allows them to take time off work to care for their child. Both parents have the option to take parental leave until the child reaches the age of 3.


Termination of Employment

The termination process in Germany is subject to variation depending on the specific employment agreement and collective agreement in place, as well as the type of contract and reason for termination. Following the initial 6 months of employment, employees are protected by the German Termination Protection Act.

Notice Period

In Germany, an employee must be informed in writing 4 weeks in advance of separation during the first 2 years of employment. After that, the notice period increases depending on the employment duration.

Probation Period

In Germany, the probationary period is typically 3 months, but it can extend up to 6 months.


Germany offers various types of visas, including tourist visas, student visas, work visas, family reunion visas, and more. The type of visa you need depends on your purpose for visiting Germany.

If you plan to visit Germany and other Schengen countries for up to 90 days for tourism or business purposes, you typically need to apply for a Schengen visa. This visa allows you to travel within the Schengen Area. If you intend to stay in Germany for more than 90 days or for purposes like work, study, or family reunion, you’ll need a national visa (Type D visa). These visas are issued for specific purposes and have different requirements.

The long-term German D visa is essential for working in Germany, allowing foreigners to stay for over 3 months. In 2020, German legislation changed, now requiring applicants to have a diploma and proficiency in the German language.


The standard VAT rate in Germany is 19.00%.

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