Notice periods and deadlines

The notice period is the period between the announcement of the termination and the actual end of the employment relationship.

The termination date is the time on which the employment relationship is dissolved.

Until 30 September 2021, different notice periods and dates applied to blue-collar and white-collar workers.

Notice period

  • For the employee: one month
  • For the employer
    • In the first and second year of service: six weeks
    • After the end of the second year of service: two months
    • After the end of the fifth year of service: three months
    • After the end of the 15th year of service: four months
    • After the end of the 25th year of service: five months

The period for employees may be extended to up to half a year by way of an agreement. However, the period to be complied with by the employer must not be shorter than the notice period agreed with the employee.

Termination date

  • For employees: the end of the month
  • For employers: the end of the quarter
    A contractual agreement for the 15th or the end of the month is permissible

By collective agreement, deviating regulations may be laid down for branches in which seasonal operations predominate.


If a notice of termination does not comply with the deadline or period requirements, i.e. the statutory (contractual) notice period or termination date has not been complied with, the employee is entitled to dismissal compensation, which must be asserted by judicial process within six months.

Further links

Short film on the topic of "I quit!" ( YouTube)German text

Legal basis

Translated by the European Commission
Last update: 24 February 2023

Responsible for the content: Federal Ministry of Labour and Economy

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