EMCC European Monitoring Centre on Change

Germany: Time off for job search

Phase: Management
Time off for job search
Dernière modification: 16 May, 2019
Nom natif:

Bürgerliches Gesetzbuch

Nom anglais:

Civil Code




In case of dismissal or termination of a fixed-term contract, the employer has to agree to 'adequate' time off for the affected employee to search for new employment. The right applies to workers on a permanent and fixed-term contract, but not to casual workers and interns. The Civil Code does not specify any requirements regarding the time off for job search or its duration. In practice, the employee has to apply for time off for job search at least two days in advance and in written form. Specific information of the name of a potential employer does not have be be given. The employer is prohibited from asking the employee to use holidays for job search. 


Because the Civil Code does not specify any requirements, standard practice is outlined by, for example, law firms, trade unions and insurers.

Typically, time off is granted from a few hours to a maximum of one whole day. Time off is allowed for interviews with potential employers, for consultations with the Federal Employment Agency (Bundesagentur für Arbeit) as well as for participation in assessments by private centres/employers. 

In establishments with works councils, works agreements may set out specific regulations regarding time off for job search. For example, they may stipulate the maximum duration of the time off for job search and the remuneration the employee is entitled to during this time.

Cost covered by
  • Employer
Involved actors other than national government
  • Trade union
  • Works council
No, applicable in all circumstances
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