Employment for indefinite period of time


In Germany, it’s necessary that workers sign written employment contract with their employer. The contract should clearly state the conditions, rights, responsibilities and duties of the worker and the employer. When the contract is indefinite, the ending date of employment is not specified.


As citizens of the EU, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway or Switzerland you have unrestricted access to the German labour market. Third-country citizens can obtain a residence permit which allows access to labour market.


Once you have found a job you need several documents for your employer. As a worker employed by a German employer you are subject to German social insurance, including health insurance. Therefore you need to get a proof that you have this as well as a health insurance card from your health insurance company. Also, you need to receive a social security card, a social security number and a tax code.
If you have collected all important documents you will get a work contract. It is most unusual for a work contract to be delivered orally in Germany. This is why serious employers will always send you a written contract. Read the contract thoroughly from start to finish before signing it. You can ask the employer to give you the contract in advance to make sure you read it thoroughly. Once agreed, both the employer and worker should sign it. Job contract for indefinite period of time can be a full time or part time. A full-time job in Germany usually means 40 working hours per week. However there can be agreements for fewer hours. You are considered a part-time employee if your weekly working time is shorter than that of a comparable full-time employee.

Good to know

Every work contract should contain the following information:

  • Name and address: Yours and that of the company
  • Date on which the contract starts
  • Term of contract: Period of time for which the contract is valid.
  • Duration of trial period: This is the period during which you or the company can terminatethe contract relatively quickly.
  • Place of work: If you are to work in different places, this should be stated in the contract.
  • Job description
  • Remuneration: Your gross salary. From this, certain amounts will be deducted for tax andsocial contributions. Any supplements of bonuses the company will pay you are stated here as well.
  • Working hours (per week)
  • Holiday (days per year)
  • Notice period: Period of time to notify in advance the terminating the contract (valid forboth, you and the company).
  • Collective bargaining agreements and works agreements: often, in addition to the workcontract, special regulations also apply. For example, in many branches of industry, employer associations and trades unions have reached collective bargaining agreements. Or special agreements of employers with their Employee Councils, which represent the interests of the employees.


Your employer has to report your employment to the social-security authorities, in particular to your health insurance provider, with the first following payroll accounting, but no later than six weeks after the start of the employment.